Wriddhiman Saha leaves Bengal domestic side, set to represent Tripura
Indian cricketer Wriddhiman Saha has parted ways with his domestic side Bengal. The 37-year-old has obtained the No-Objection Certificate from the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) to join Tripura. Saha took the step following a public fallout with an official of the state association. As per the Tripura Cricket Association, Saha would serve as the mentor-cum-captain of the team. Here are further details.
"Mr Wriddhiman Saha came to CAB and in an application to President Avishek Dalmiya sought the NOC from the association. CAB gave concurrence to the request of Mr Saha and provided the NOC to him for playing for another state. CAB also wished him the very best for his future endeavours," the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) said in a statement.
The Saha-CAB issue has been doing rounds lately. In February, CAB joint-secretary Debabrata Das accused Saha of giving "excuses to skip Ranji Trophy matches". Saha sought an apology for the same. He was left out of the Indian Test squad for Sri Lanka series. Subsequently, he withdrew from the Ranji Trophy, citing "personal reasons". However, Saha was included in Bengal's squad for the knockouts.
"The Cricket Association of Bengal wanted Wriddhiman Saha to play for Bengal at this crucial juncture especially when Bengal would be fighting in the Knockout stage in a bid to win the Ranji Trophy after becoming the top ranked team in the country at the end of the Group Stage," CAB President Avishek Dalmiya said in May. Saha, however, turned down the offer.
Saha pulled out of the knockout phase too, stating he was not consulted before naming him in the squad. However, Saha had asserted that if the dispute could not be resolved, he wanted a no-objection certificate to leave the Bengal side.
Saha has represented India in 40 Tests, having scored 1,353 runs. As a wicket-keeper, Saha has registered 92 catches and 12 stumpings. In February, he informed that head coach Rahul Dravid shed light on the roadmap for Saha. Dravid told Saha that the team will be moving on from him. Later, Saha was demoted to Group C of the BCCI central contracts list.
Saha has had a stellar career in First-class cricket, having featured in 122 matches. He has racked up 6,423 runs at an average of 41.98. The tally includes 13 centuries and 38 half-centuries. It remains to be seen how he fares for Tripura.
Saha's future in international cricket hangs in balance. However, he is still an integral member of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 champions Gujarat Titans. He bolstered their top order in the season, having slammed 317 runs from 11 innings at a strike rate of 122.39. It was his best IPL season since 2014 when he scored 362 runs.