He might have been trolled by the ignorant, but those who follow domestic cricket know the value of the just-retired Ashok Dinda. The former Bengal and India pacer retires an a legend in domestic cricket, having started his career in 2005.
Dinda has played 13 ODIs and 9 T20Is for India, picking up 12 and 17 wickets respectively. More (in)famously, it’s his economy rate that was under the scanner. He went at 6.18 runs an over in ODIs and 8.16 in T20Is. Trolls, including social media handle of a franchise he has played for, showed no mercy. ‘Dinda academy’ became a thing on social media.
I personally have no hard feelings for anyone and have always had a fondness for the team for legends like @imVkohli , @ABdeVilliers17 , @henrygayle and also since I had once called it home. You are surely answerable @RCBTweets pic.twitter.com/qGKEIAhhIT
— Ashoke Dinda (@dindaashoke) April 28, 2019
Beyond the shorter formats and the IPL, though, Dinda was another beast altogether. His ability to run in day in and day out, produce bounce and swing, especially away from the right handers, tested batsmen across India.
He picked up 339 Ranji Trophy wickets for Bengal. Overall, he had 420 first-class wickets. It’s no mean feat for fast bowlers; only Vinay Kumar, Pankaj Singh, Basant Mohanty, Madan Lal and Ashish Winston Zaidi have more wickets than Dinda in Ranji history.
Dinda was also the highest wicket taker for Bengal in Ranji in 8 of his last 9 seasons. And yet, he retires as one of those unfortunate players to never make it to the Indian Test team despite being a domestic stalwart.
And then, there were some controversies too. Dinda was ousted from Bengal following an ugly spat with bowling coach Ranadeb Bose in 2019-20. He joined Goa for the most recent domestic season, after which he has called it quits.
Dinda played for the Delhi Daredevils, Pune Warriors, Kolkata Knight Riders, Royal Challengers Bangalore and the Rising Pune Supergiants in the IPL, picking up 69 wickets in 78 games. Once again, it was his high economy rate of 8.20 that was a target for the trolls.
At the end of it all, though, he was not just trolled but also lauded by those who saw beyond the IPL.
That’s the tweet . pic.twitter.com/TQDgfDWEUC
— Rohan Gavaskar (@rohangava9) 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
Ashok Dinda was a fighter. Overcoming economic hurdles & own shortcomings to become one of the most consistent quick bowlers in domestic cricket over a reasonable period of time on unresponsive pitches, playing for the country… He won many battles. Well played @dindaashoke
— Atreyo Mukhopadhyay (@atreyom) February 2, 2021
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
Congrats on a great career with Bengal, @dindaashoke. You’ve been an absolute legend for your state. I’ll cherish the moments we spent together with Goa very recently. Good luck for your future, champ #AshokDinda pic.twitter.com/JzljJUOZJj
— ದೊಡ್ಡ ಗಣೇಶ್ | Dodda Ganesh (@doddaganesha) February 2, 2021
People made Ashok Dinda a failed bowler especially Dinda acedemy.
Life of a bowler is not easy they have to go through a lot of injuries. So respect each and every bowler and enjoy the game.
And happy retirement Dinda sir
— Partho Das (@Partho_das007) February 2, 2021
— Rahul Sharma (@ImRahulSharma3) February 2, 2021
One of the fiercest characters on the field and an amazing man off it – from whatever little I’ve witnessed – Ashok Dinda can be proud of everything he achieved in domestic cricket.
— Bastab K Parida (@ParidaBastab) February 2, 2021
It was a career that had plenty of highs, and could have been so much more.