New Delhi: Former India players Pragyan Ojha and Ashok Dinda on Saturday were 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 in the know of things told PTI.
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.
Kedar Jadhav returns to bolster Maharashtra against Vidarbha
Maharashtra will be bolstered by the return of their regular skipper Kedar Jadhav when they face Vidarbha in a Ranji Trophy cricket fixture beginning at Eden Gardens on Sunday.
Both the teams lie on the bottom of group B standings and are in search of their maiden win from four matches and Maharashtra will bank on their skipper who's back after an impressive show in India's 3-2 win over New Zealand in the recent ODI series.
"He's a match-winner. We really missed him in the last two matches," Maharashtra coach Shrikant Kalyani said on the match-eve.
A hard-hitting batsman, Jadhav has found new-found confidence in bowling, especially after his career-best 3/29 in Mohali ODI.
There will also be an emotional off-the-field battle between the two coaches - Kalyani and Vidarbha's Paras Mhambrey - both have a strong Bengal connection.
A former Bengal cricketer, Kalyani will be back at the Eden as coach for the first time. Vidarbha dressing room on the other hand will have the expertise of Mhambrey, who had coached Bengal to Ranji finals.
Keeping in view the seaming-friendly conditions, Maharashtra also have boosted their pace department with a newcomer in Pradip Dadhe, who will join Nikit Dhumal.
But the key for Maharashtra would be to bat with consistency which has been missing since Swapnil Gugale and Ankit Bawne's record 594 undefeated stand, the highest partnership in first-class cricket.
Gugale (351 not out) and Bawne (258 not out) helped Maharashtra pile 635/2 against Delhi but since then their batting is struggling for consistency.
Smarting from their defeat against group leaders Karnataka, skipper Faiz Fazal said they are confident of bouncing back.
"We had a bad game against Karnataka but overall our performance has been decent. We played well against Assam and Odisha but weather came in our way for an outright win," the left-handed opening batsman said.