Wriddhiman Saha denies playing for Bengal: Details here
Wicket-keeper batter Wriddhiman Saha has opted out of playing for Bengal in the upcoming Ranji Trophy knockouts. Saha, 37, has communicated his unwillingness to compete for his domestic side to the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB). His decision comes on the account of unresolved issues with CAB. Bengal will face Jharkhand in the quarter-final starting June 6. Here are more details.
As per ESPNCricinfo, the tension between Saha and CAB started in the month of February earlier this year. CAB joint secretary, Debabrata Das, had accused Saha of missing the Ranji matches. Saha had wanted the matter to be resolved before he returned to play for Bengal. Avishek Dalmiya had assured Saha that they would settle the dispute by the end of IPL.
Saha, who was out of contention for a spot in India's Test squad, had skipped the entire league stage of the Ranji Trophy. This, in turn, had infuriated Das, who questioned Saha's commitment to Bengal cricket, especially when he isn't around the Indian team.
"In the past, too, there have been many occasions when he has refused to play for Bengal. When he have spoken to him, he has given all sorts of excuses and skipper games. Sometimes it's body ache, sometimes he has a pain in his leg," Das was quoted saying in Sangbad Pratidin on February 22.
"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," said Avishek Dalmiya on Thursday. Saha, however, turned down the offer.
On May 16, CAB announced Bengal's squad for the upcoming Ranji knockouts. In spite of his concrete stance regarding his return to play for Bengal, Saha's name was initially added to the squad. As per ESPNCricinfo, Saha had another set of discussions with Dalmiya. He asked for a no-objection certificate (NOC) to play elsewhere in case the matter isn't put to an end.
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.
Playing for Gujarat Titans, Saha has amassed 312 runs in 10 innings at 34.66. His contributions in the powerplay deserve all the appreciation, given he has clobbered 212 runs at 70.66. The Titans, having beaten Rajasthan Royals in the Qualifier 1, bagged a berth for the final. They will face either RR or Royal Challengers Bangalore in the finale on May 29.