Manoj Tiwary has revealed that he will continue to play cricket even after joining politics after being named in Bengal’s likely 39-member for the upcoming national season. Despite holding the position in the state sports ministry, Tiwary has assured that he will treat his teammates like brothers.
Bengal cricketer Manoj Tiwary, who is currently West Bengal’s Minister of State for Sports and Youth Affairs, has been named in the likely 39-member listed by the Bengal Cricket Association for the upcoming national season. The former Bengal captain is available to play for the state in all formats.
Tiwary, 35, won his first election to the Trinamool Congress (TMC) regional political party in May after competing in West Bengal’s Shibpur constituency. The player’s shift to politics hinted at the end of his cricket career, but to everyone’s surprise, the former Bengal captain will continue to play for his state along the parallel lines of occupying the state ministry position.
“When it comes to the game, I have passion, I enjoy the game and I have a lot to contribute to Bengal cricket. This is why I keep playing cricket. Whatever it is today is down to my cricket, ”Tiwary told The Indian Express.
Tiwary has scored 5,466 runs from his 163 A-List matches and last appeared for Bengal at the 2021 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. Tiwary revealed that leaving the game was never on his mind and had a discussion about it with the minister at West Bengal boss Mamata Banerjee who gave the player a wink to continue the game.
“I never thought of quitting cricket and discussed it with our Chief Minister. She said, ‘No problem, khel na (keep playing).’ This is my profession and my passion, which is why I did not announce my retirement, ”said Tiwary.
Tiwary could be the first in the country to serve as the acting minister of a state or union. The current Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur and the likes of Navjot Singh Sidhu, Laxmi Ratan Shukla and Tejashwi Yadav also played the game before becoming politicians. Tiwary believes that his presence will create a new feeling in the Bengal dressing room and has assured him that he will treat his teammates like a brother, despite his ministerial position.
“When I walk into the locker room, I’ll make sure to meet with them (teammates) as a senior player, as a brother and as a teammate,” Tiwary said.