On 2 February, West Bengal fast-bowler Ashoke Dinda announced retirement from all forms of the game. He played 13 ODI’s and nine T20I’s for India and picked up 12 and 17 wickets respectively. He made his India debut in 2009 against Sri Lanka in a T20 match. He was an essential part of the Kolkata Knight Riders squad in the IPL. He also played for Pune Warriors India. Apart from this, with 420 wickets to his name, he was Bengal’s second highest wicket-taker after Utpal Chatterjee.
Dinda was born in the village of Naichanpur, which is about three hours away from Kolkata. He was spotted by Atal Dev Burman and was taken to the Kalighat club by him as Dinda wasn’t able to bear the expenses. He made his first class debut for Bengal in 2005. During his retirement announcement, he shared a special story about his Bengal debut and how Sourav Ganguly played an important role in his selection. Dinda said that he was not selected in the 15-man squad which travelled to play against Maharashtra, but even then, Sourav Ganguly took him with the squad as a 16th member of the team. Dinda debut in that very match against Maharashtra.
Dinda only had praises for the ex-Indian captain. Sportskeeda reported Dinda saying, “He has fielded at mid-off, always encouraging me throughout my bowling spells. I have learnt a lot from him. Same was the case during Duleep Trophy and IPL as well. I can never forget Dada’s role in my cricketing career. I thank Dada from the bottom of my heart.”
Ashoke Dinda was always revered for his unusual bowling action that had a jump in his stride which allowed him to generate special pace. He came in to the limelight after he was consistent in the domestic fixtures for Bengal. Also with KKR, he was a regular customer and picked up wickets at regular intervals. He has a total of 68 wickets in the IPL. The last team he played for was Delhi Daredevils in 2017.
Here’s a look at what some ex-cricketer had to say on Dinda’s retirement:
That’s the tweet . pic.twitter.com/TQDgfDWEUC
— Rohan Gavaskar (@rohangava9) February 2, 2021
Congratulations on an incredible career. One of the finest pacers to come out of Bengal. Very very underrated! @dindaashoke
Enjoy the next innings of your life! 😊
.#DindaRetires #AshokeDinda #happyretirement pic.twitter.com/LICgMbubEJ
— MANOJ TIWARY (@tiwarymanoj) February 2, 2021
What a bowler ! Outstanding career dinds . Was a pleasure to stand behind the wicket and watch you run day in day out and pick wickets for Bengal . @dindaashoke but life’s just not cricket , so enjoy your 2nd most important innings.#bestwishes pic.twitter.com/ndWwEdQOOq
— Shreevats goswami (@shreevats1) February 3, 2021
Ashoke Dinda truly took Bengal cricket to a new high as they were runners-up of the Ranji Trophy in the 2019-20 season after 12 years. Dinda also was a victim of online bullying and trolling. But the fast-bowler always took it sportingly. He said to Sportskeeda that, “So I feel whatever people say should be taken as blessings, and let your performance prove your worth. Not fighting with trolls, not arguing with them, I feel one should answer them through performance. And I believe I have done that pretty well.” Dinda couldn’t play much in the Indian team due to the incoming of new fast-bowlers, but he will always be fondly remembered, especially for his bowling action.