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Livid Saha seeks NOC to quit Bengal after 15 year stint

Source: PTI
May 18, 2022 00:15 IST
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IMAGE: Wriddhiman Saha has seen limited to no national team call-ups in recent time due to the BCCI management preferring to focus on youth. Photograph: BCCI

Veteran India wicketkeeper-batter Wriddhiman Saha dropped a fresh bombshell on Tuesday, by seeking an NOC to leave his domestic Ranji side Bengal.

The development comes less than 24 hours after he was named in the Bengal Ranji side for its upcoming quarterfinal against Jharkhand in Bengaluru from June 6.

According to sources close to Saha, the 37-year-old, who had pulled out of the Ranji league stage citing "personal reasons", was not consulted before naming him in the squad.

After learning of the development, an annoyed Saha spoke to Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) president Avishek Dalmiya, seeking NOC to leave Bengal, a source privy to the matter said.

 

"He is not interested in playing for Bengal anymore and sought for an NOC. He is very annoyed with one CAB office bearer (joint secretary Debabrata Das) who has apparently questioned his commitment. He wants a public apology," the source told PTI.

It is understood that a section of the current dispensation is unlikely to mollycoddle him if the discarded India stumper refuses to play for the state team.

The CAB remained mum on the issue and president Dalmiya issued a statement late in the evening, saying: "Any discussion that happens between a player and an organisation is strictly between that player and the organisation. I would like to completely refrain from making any comments at this stage."

Saha has been in sublime form -- 281 runs from eight matches with a strike rate of 123.24 -- for IPL debutants Gujarat Titans and played a key role in their qualification to the playoffs.

It all began a few months ago when he was dropped from the Test squad for a two-match series against Sri Lanka at home, after which Saha revealed that head coach Rahul Dravid had asked him to consider "retirement" as he won't be further considered for selection.

"The team management had told me that I would not be considered henceforth. I could not tell this so long as I was part of the India team setup. Even coach Rahul Dravid suggested that I think about taking retirement," Saha had told mediapersons then.

It was then that the CAB joint-secretary Debabrata Das allegedly questioned his commitment to playing for Bengal in the Ranji Group stage.
Saha felt humiliated and sought "clarity on what the CAB has done about the issue".

"He felt humiliated and shocked by the issue after playing cricket for Bengal for 15-16 years," the source added.

Having made his Ranji debut for Bengal against Hyderabad on November 4, 2007, Saha has played 122 first-class and 102 List A matches.

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