Former India players Pragyan Ojha and Ashok Dinda were on Saturday involved in an ugly feud ahead of Bengal’s Ranji Trophy group league encounter against Tamil Nadu in Rajkot and both nearly came to exchanging blows during the training session.
Both players are important in Bengal’s scheme of things and the team management, which includes skipper Manoj Tiwary, coach Sairaj Bahutule and manager Sameer Dasgupta, spoke to them and conveyed that this behaviour was unexpected.
According to reliable sources in the CAB, the incident happened when the Bengal players were engaged in a football match.
It was learnt that Dinda had tackled a few of the opposition players and they were not amused as it is an unwritten code during cricket team’s football sessions that no one would go for tackles.
“The provocation did not come from Ojha who is a very cool fellow. It was Dinda who took a powerful shot that whizzed past Ojha’s ears. He could have got hurt and he was annoyed as he shouted at Dinda. He then charged at Ojha wanting to settle scores and Ojha just pushed him. He fell to the ground but by then the other members had come between them,” a senior CAB official said.
According to sources, Dinda termed Ojha as an “outsider”, referring to his inter-state transfer from Hyderabad during last season.
It has been learnt that the matter has been reported to CAB president Sourav Ganguly, who has advised both players to calm down and move on.
While Dinda has been Bengal’s strike bowler for the last four to five seasons, he has had a history of getting into altercations with teammates.
Back in 2008 when Bengal played MP in Gwalior, he had an altercation with Shib Shankar Paul with the latter threatening to walk out of the team hotel.
In 2009, during the final phase of the Vijay Hazare Trophy in Agartala, Dinda and the senior most bowler Ranadeb Bose nearly came to exchanging blows with then skipper Laxmi Ratan Shukla and his deputy Manoj Tiwary intervening.