Recently-retired pace bowler Ashoke Dinda narrated an interesting anecdote about him and Team India pacer Mohammed Shami. Ashoke Dinda and Shami both represented Bengal in the Ranji Trophy During one of these matches, Ashoke Dinda actually requested Shami not to take a wicket.
Speaking to Sportskeeda’s Indranil Basu in an SK Live session on Facebook, Ashoke Dinda’s revealed the amusing details of the incident. He recalled:
“I remember the last time I played with Shami, it was my 100th first-class match against Chhattisgarh. We finished the match in two days. Both Shami and I claimed five wickets each in the first innings. Then, in the second innings, both of us had picked up four wickets each.”
“So, I needed only one wicket to complete a 10-wicket match haul in my 100th first-class game. I told Shami, ‘Listen, I have never asked for any favours from you, but please don’t take this one wicket, leave it for me,'” added Dinda.
Ashoke Dinda got his wish. He revealed:
“We kept all the fielders in the slips when we were bowling. Eventually, I managed to take 10 wickets, and thanked Shami.”
Asked about the equation he shared with Shami, Ashoke Dinda replied that they did not play a lot of matches together for Bengal. However, whenever they did, it was an enjoyable experience.
“My partnership with Mohammed Shami, while playing for Bengal, was outstanding. We did not play a lot of matches together as Shami quickly progressed to the Indian team. Whenever we played together, there was an internal competition as to who will pick up more wickets. If he bowled a bouncer, I also used to bowl one. If I picked up a wicket, he would follow suit soon, and vice versa,” revealed Ashoke Dinda.
Ashoke Dinda was also full of praise for his former teammate and had the following to say about him:
“He is just outstanding. Whenever we were bowling, we would never think about who the opposition batsman was. We played a handful of matches together, but it was an enjoyable experience. We shared a very good understanding.”
Most wickets in #RanjiTrophy without playing any Test matches
637 – Rajinder Goel
401 – Utpal Chatterjee +
367 – Basant Mohanty
361 – Padmakar Shivalkar
348 – Ashish Zaidi
345 – Sarkar Talwar
339 – #AshokDinda +
+ appeared in limited overs for India
— Mohandas Menon (@mohanstatsman) February 2, 2021
Ashoke Dinda had a short stint with the Indian team, playing 13 ODIs and nine T20Is. However, he was a domestic legend and finished his career as Bengal’s second-highest wicket-taker with 420 scalps.