Wednesday, Nov 30, 2022

Wriddhiman Saha Controversy Shows Sourav Ganguly In Poor Light, Again; BCCI To Probe

Virender Sehwag and Ravi Shastri have come out in Wriddhiman Saha's support after being threatened by a 'journalist'.

Sourav Ganguly's silence on the Wriddhiman Saha selection controversy has been intriguing.
Sourav Ganguly's silence on the Wriddhiman Saha selection controversy has been intriguing. Composite: File Photos

Sourav Ganguly has been making headlines for all the wrong reasons. Late last year, it was the controversy around Virat Kohli's captaincy and now it's on the omission of Wriddhiman Saha from the Indian Test team for the upcoming series against Sri Lanka. (More Cricket News)

After Virat Kohli called Sourav Ganguly's 'bluff' after the former lost his ODI captaincy in rather unceremonious style, Wriddhiman Saha has added to a new controversy by claiming he was assured of a place in the Indian Test team as long as Ganguly was around as BCCI president.

It is an entire different matter that Ganguly has been overstaying his tenure as BCCI president. According to the new constitution approved by the Supreme Court, Ganguly's tenure had ended last year. Unfortunately, Ganguly's 'extended' tenure has been rather dramatic with the former captain getting directly involved with team issues.

Sourav Ganguly's silence is not helping matters. After Kohli rejected Ganguly's claim that the BCCI wanted Kohli to continue as captain, the Board president has not cleared the air. Kohli's stepping down as Test captain has somewhat settled matters and a temporary truce has been called.

But Saha's interview to a website saying he was guaranteed a place in the Test team by Ganguly has put the former skipper in a spot. The question is whether Ganguly crossed his brief by directly interfering in selection matters.

Wriddhiman SahaWriddhiman Saha is clearly upset that Ganguly has failed to keep his 'promise'. (BCCI)

On Sunday at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata, Ganguly kept mum when reporters asked him to comment on the Saha issue.

Saha has actually exposed the communication gap between in the BCCI. This has become more glaring when head coach Rahul Dravid and chief selector Chetan Sharma both did not want the 39-year-old Bengal wicket-keeper-batsman in Test team going forward.

According to Wriddhiman Saha, after his match-saving 61 against New Zealand in Kanpur batting with a stiff neck, Ganguly had congratulated him and assured him not to worry about his place in the Indian national team as long as he was at the helm.  

“Such a message from the board president really boosted my confidence. But I failed to understand why everything changed so fast,” Saha said on Saturday. 

“Even coach Rahul Dravid suggested that I think about taking retirement,” said Saha, explaining the state of his confused mind.

Dravid, of course, has not denied suggesting retirement to Saha. 

Talking to the media after India's 3-0 sweep against the West Indies in the T20s, Dravid said: “I have a deep respect for Wriddhiman Saha and his achievements, contributions to Indian cricket.

"My conversation with him came from that place. He deserved honesty and clarity. I didn’t want him to hear about it, you know, from the media.” 

Dravid's honest reactions only puts Ganguly in poorer light.

BCCI To Probe

Meanwhile, BCCI treasurer Arun Dhumal on Monday said that the cricket board will ask Saha whether he was bullied by a 'journalist'.

The veteran wicketkeeper had taken to Twitter to allege that one "respected" journalist took an aggressive tone after his refusal to grant him an interview.

After his tweet, former head coach Ravi Shastri, and former stars like Virender Sehwag, Harbhajan Sigh came out in his support and asked him to reveal the name of the journalist.

"Yes, we will ask Wriddhiman about his tweet and what is the real incident that has happened. We need to know if he was threatened and also the background and speak to Wriddhiman," BCCI Treasurer Arun Dhumal told PTI on Monday.

(With PTI inputs)


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