Wriddhiman Saha’s participation in the Ranji Trophy knockout remains uncertain despite Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) naming the wicketkeeper-batter in its 22-member squad.
Sportstar understands that Saha, who is currently featuring in the Indian Premier League (IPL) for Gujarat Titans, had a long conversation with CAB president Avishek Dalmiya on Tuesday, where he indicated that he may no longer play for Bengal.
This comes months after a senior CAB official had raised questions over Saha’s commitment after he decided to skip the group stage of the Ranji Trophy due to personal reasons.
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“A few months ago, when Wriddhi decided to skip the Ranji Trophy league stage due to personal reasons, a certain CAB official gave a statement to the media doubting his commitment. Being a senior player, who has given so much to Bengal cricket, Wriddhi was hurt with such statements,” Saha’s wife Romi Mitra told Sportstar from Kolkata.
“After the squad was announced last night, he spoke to Mr. Dalmiya today and discussed the entire issue. The CAB president told him to reconsider and play the knockouts, but Wriddhi told him that he is not in a position to play for Bengal again, after so many questions were raised about his commitment,” Romi said.
The cricketer plans to take a call on the future after the IPL. According to Romi, the CAB did not even check with Saha about his availability before naming the squad for the knockouts.
In a statement, CAB president Dalmiya said, “Any discussion between a player and organisation is strictly between the player and the organisation. I would like to completely refrain from making any comments at this stage.”
In February, Saha was left out of the Indian Test team for the series against Sri Lanka, and a few hours after he was left out of the Indian team, Saha put out screenshots on Twitter alleging that a ‘respected’ journalist was intimidating him to grant an interview. That took the cricketing fraternity by storm with several former cricketers like Virender Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh, Venkatesh Prasad and Irfan Pathan backing Saha, and requesting him to reveal the identity of the scribe.
However, Saha later put out a tweet saying that he wouldn’t reveal the name as he does not want to harm the journalist’s career. Saha being a centrally contracted cricketer, the BCCI constituted a three-member committee in February to investigate the matter and a fortnight ago, banned journalist Boria Majumdar for two years for intimidating the India cricketer.