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Saha 'not willing' to play for Bengal in Ranji Trophy knockouts

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Harish Kotian
May 26, 2022 23:36 IST
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IMAGE: Wriddhiman Saha, who has played 122 first-class matches, has also quit Bengal Ranji team's official WhatsApp group, making it clear that he has moved on. Photograph: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

Veteran wicketkeeper-batter Wriddhiman Saha on Thursday made it official to the Cricket Association of Bengal that he is 'not willing' to play for the state team in the upcoming Ranji Trophy knockout games.

 

This effectively brings an end to Saha's glorious career with Bengal from where he made his Ranji Trophy 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 quit Bengal Ranji team's official 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 said.

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 IPL 2022 for his franchise Gujarat Titans, Saha was picked for the Ranji quarter-final which 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 is not playing so that we can prepare accordingly for the big match," the official said.

Bengal will play their Ranji Trophy quarter-final against Jharkhand in Bangalore from June 6.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Harish Kotian© Copyright 2022 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.

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