Speaking exclusively to Republic TV on Wednesday, cricketer Manoj Tiwary explained his decision to join TMC ahead of the West Bengal Assembly polls due in April-May this year. Earlier in the day, the 35-year-old batsman joined the ruling party in the state along with 5 Tollywood artists during CM Mamata Banerjee's rally in Hooghly. Tiwary attributed his move to the negligible possibility of making a comeback to the national team.
To buttress his point, he highlighted that the Indian cricket team has a strong bunch of players on the sidelines too. According to him, he didn't think twice before accepting Banerjee's advice to take the political plunge. Asserting that it was an easy decision to take owing to his belief in secularism, Tiwary also revealed that he had turned down an offer from BJP.
Cricketer Manoj Tiwary remarked, "I joined TMC because I am at such a stage in my cricketing career where I don't feel that I can play for my country again. While nothing is impossible, it is important for me to be realistic. Currently, the Indian team is jam-packed. The second batch of players are also ready. I am now 35 years old. You might have hardly heard of any players making their debut in the Indian team after the age of 35."
"Because it is going to be a tough fight, CM Mamata Banerjee told me that I should join. I didn't even think twice (before saying yes). My birth and work is here. I can't even think about another party though I had an offer. I had an offer from BJP," he added.
Known as an aggressive batsman, Shukla made his ODI and T20 International debut in 2008 and 2011 respectively. While his international career has been limited to 12 ODIs and three T20Is, he has played 125 first-class games for Bengal scoring 8965 runs at an average of 50.36 with 27 hundreds and 37 fifties. In his List A career, Tiwary scored 5466 runs at an average of 42.37. On the other hand, he played multiple IPL matches, representing Kolkata Knight Riders, Delhi Daredevils and Rising Pune Supergiant. At present, the veteran batsman is playing for Bengal in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.