Squashing rumours about his possible desire to go out of Bengal, attacking middle-order batsman Manoj Tiwari has confirmed that he will play for the state in the coming domestic season.
Speculations were rife in the cricketing circle here that Tiwari, who belongs to Bengal and played for the state since his debut in Ranji Trophy, would be representing Rajasthan next season especially after his home state was relegated to the Plate division following last season's poor performance.
Tiwari, who is now the most sought after cricketer from Bengal after former India skipper Sourav Ganguly, met the newly-elected Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) president Jagmohan Dalmiya at the CAB Club House yesterday and intimated that he would continue to represent the state during 2008-09 season.
Tiwari said although Rajasthan gave him a very good offer, his inner conscience does not allow him to leave his native state reeling in such a sorry state.
"I learned playing cricket here and I was chosen for Indian team while playing for Bengal only. I feel I have some moral responsibility towards the state, specially after it has been relegated to Plate division," he stated.
"I was also a member of Bengal team which performed poorly last year. Hence I feel I should try my best to guide the team back to the Elite division again," he added.
Asked whether his chances to get picked up for the national team would reduce following his decision to play for Bengal in the Plate division, Tiwari said, "I don't think so. If players like Mahendra Singh Dhoni or Sreesanth could come up after playing in Plate division then why I won't be able to do the same.
"The selectors know me already and my aim is to perform consistently."
Asked about his choice for the next coach of the Bengal side, Tiwari, who represented Delhi Daredevils in the inaugural Indian Premier League said, "The coach should be one who knows the state cricketers well and should have required knowledge in cricket."