On the festive occasion of Diwali, Bengal received a good news when former India skipper Sourav Ganguly gave his nod to be available for the entire Ranji season, as the selectors picked a 16-member side for their first two Super League matches, beginning November 3.
Bengal senior selection committee chairman Deep Dasgupta told PTI that Ganguly is quite motivated and keen to play all matches for the state team.
Ganguly, who is busy with commentary, has let go of a few upcoming assignments to play for Bengal, Dasgputa said.
"It shows how motivated is Ganguly to play this season. He trains regularly to keep himself in shape and will be available for the entire Ranji Trophy, one-day and T20 matches," Dasgupta said.
"His presence in the dressing room itself will be a big inspiration for the youngsters. We are looking forward to our first match," the former India Test wicketkeeper said.
There was not much surprise in Bengal squad, to be led by Manoj Tiwary with glovesman Wriddhiman Saha as his deputy.
Former skipper and allrounder Laxmi Ratan Shukla, bowler Ranadeb Bose will lend experience to the side.
Arindam Das, Abhishek Jhunjunwala, Rohan Banerjee and Arindam Ghosh will be Bengal's batting mainstay, while Bose and Ashok Dinda will spearhead the bowling attack.
Veteran off-spinner Saurashish Lahiri and leg-spinner Iresh Saxena will be the other bowling ammunition.
Struggling in Ranji Trophy in the recent past, Bengal's first aim would be to make the knockout.
"Bengal's biggest challenge won't be the opposition. If we play to our potential we can beat any team on a given day. But the biggest challenge would be ourselves -- to play to our potential," Dasgupta said.
Coach W V Raman and Tiwary were also present in the selection committee meeting earlier on Wednesday.
Bengal will take on Gujarat (November 3-6) at Eden Gardens and Madhya Pradesh (November 17-20) at Jadavpur ground in their first two group B encounters.
Manoj Tiwary (c), Wriddhiman Saha (vc & wk), Sourav Ganguly, Laxmi Ratan Shukla, Arindam Das, Rohan Banerjee, Abhishek Jhunjhunwala, Arindam Ghosh, Partha Sarathi Bhattacharjee, Ranadeb Bose, Ashok Dinda, Mohammad Sami Ahmed, Saurashish Lahiri, Iresh Saxena, Writam Porel, Anirban Gupta; Stand Byes: Anustup Majumdar, Saurav Sarkar, Arnab Nandy, Dibyendu Chakraborty; Coach: W V Raman