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Sourav Ganguly opts out of IPL 2013

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Four years after he called time on his international cricket career, Sourav Ganguly, 40, has decided to bring an end to his active involvement in the sport, opting to retire from all forms of the game, including the IPL. Sourav made his decision following a meeting with Subrata Roy, the owner of the Pune Warriors franchise. Dada has also confirmed that he will not feature in first-class cricket either, thus bringing the curtain down on a glorious 22-year career that began way back in 1989-90 in the Ranji Trophy final against Delhi.

In the absence of Ganguly, 'Chotta Dada' and Test hopeful, Manoj Tiwary has been appointed as the skipper of the Bengal Ranji squad that included a new face in Aritra Chatterjee. Wriddhiman Saha and Ashok Dinda, who are also challenging for national selection, lend experience to the 15 man squad. Sujan Mukherjee, Joint secretary of the Cricket Association of Bengal though shared that Ganguly could return later in the season depending upon Bengal's position and whether the side needed him.

Ganguly and the Pune Warriors endured a dismal 2012 campaign, hitting rock-bottom in the points tally, despite getting off to a fine start. Ganguly, in particular, drew plenty of flak for his shoddy batting returns (Just 268 runs in 15 innings) and equally poor reflexes on the field. This might have effectively prompted Sourav to quit the tournament though he is contracted to play one more season for Pune. However, it remains to be seen if he continues to be the mentor of the side.

"I had a wonderful time playing the IPL for five seasons. It gave me a chance to keep playing top-class cricket even after quitting international cricket. But i can't go on forever. Twenty20 is a very demanding format. I will be 41 by the time IPL 6 ends" he said.

Bengal Ranji squad: M Tiwary(c), P Bhattacharjee, R Banerjee, J Basu, W Porel, A Majumdar, W Saha(wk), I Saxena, L Shukla, A Dinda, A Nandy, S Sarkar, S Das, A Chatterjee, VP Singh.