Veteran wicketkeeper-batter Wriddhiman Saha on Thursday made it official to the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) that he is ‘not willing’ to play for the state team in the upcoming Ranji Trophy 2021-22 knockouts. (More Cricket News)
This effectively brings an end to Saha's glorious career with Bengal from where he made his Ranji debut in November 2007 and went on to play 122 first-class and 102 List A matches.
“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 a statement.
“I had expressed this to Wriddhiman and had requested him to reconsider his decision. However, Wriddhiman has now communicated to us that he is not willing to play the Ranji Knockouts.” The 37-year-old, who has played 122 first-class matches, has also left from their official team WhatsApp group, making it clear that he has moved on.
A CAB official said Saha is yet to seek a no-objection certificate (NOC) but the association would give him once he asks for it.
“We tried our best to convince him, even through his childhood coach (Jayanta Bhowmick), but he has made up his mind not to play for Bengal again. The association will give him NOC as and when he asks for it,” the official told PTI.
Saha first had pulled out of Ranji Trophy group stage citing 'personal reasons' after he was excluded from the Indian Test team for the two-match home series against Sri Lanka in February. CAB assistant secretary Debabrata Das then made unsavoury statements against Saha in the media, questioning his commitment to infuriate the veteran wicketkeeper-batter.
Following his sublime form in the ongoing IPL 2022 for his franchise Gujarat Titans, Saha was picked for the Ranji quarterfinal that further annoyed him as "he was not consulted before being selected".
Saha reportedly sought an apology from Debabrata Das but after it was not materialised he made it clear he is not going to play for Bengal again. “There are many things in between. But now we are clear that he's not playing so that we can prepare accordingly for the big match,” the official said.
Bengal will play their Ranji Trophy quarterfinal against Jharkhand in Bangalore from June 6.