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'Wanted Him to Play for Bengal': CAB President Says Saha 'Not Willing' to Play Ranji Knockouts

Wriddhiman Saha had earlier refused to play for Bengal. (AFP Photo)

Wriddhiman Saha had earlier refused to play for Bengal. (AFP Photo)

Several media reports have claimed that Saha, who is currently featuring in the Indian Premier League (IPL) for Gujarat Titans, has already exited the Bengal Ranji WhatsApp group on Wednesday

Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) President Avishek Dalmiya has opened up on Wriddhiman Saha’s participation in the Ranji Trophy knockouts, starting from 6. The former has informed that the veteran wicketkeeper-batter is not willing to participate in the upcoming domestic tournament.

“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 Dalmiya’s statement read.

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“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,” it added.

Several media reports have claimed that Saha, who is currently featuring in the Indian Premier League (IPL) for Gujarat Titans, has already exited the Bengal Ranji WhatsApp group on Wednesday.

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.

Earlier this year, the 37-year-old pulled out of the Ranji league stage citing ‘personal reasons’. And now, it has been learned that Saha was not consulted before getting named to the squad. Hence, he spoke CAB president Avishek Dalmiya, seeking NOC to leave Bengal.

Following his sublime form in the ongoing IPL 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.

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

(With PTI Inputs)

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first published:May 26, 2022, 21:28 IST