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Will hold no grudge: Wriddhiman Saha after CAB grants NOC

Kolkata, July 2: Wriddhiman Saha's time with the Cricket Association of Bengal comes to an unpleasant end, as the CAB granted the wicketkeeper-batsman an NOC (No Objection Certificate).

Earlier this year, Saha was categorically told that he was no longer a part of the Indian team set up. The Indian team management had informed the veteran cricketer that the 37-year-old wicketkeeper wouldn't be considered for the Indian side.

Following his exclusion, Saha had hit out at head coach Rahul Dravid and has been on the outs with BCCI president Sourav Ganguly.

Not only was Saha's international career slipping away, the veteran cricketer found himself in the middle of turmoil on the domestic front. After being accused of making excuses to miss domestic matches for Bengal, by CAB joint secretary Debabrata Das, Saha had demanded an apology but never got one. Not only did Saha not get the apology, Das was sent as the Indian team's administrative manager to England and that was the final nail. Thereon, Saha decided to end his time with the Bengal team.

CAB granted him the NOC and that brought an end to his 15-year-long tenure with CAB.

"Mr Wriddhiman Saha came to CAB and in an application to President Avishek Dalmiya sought the NOC from the association," the CAB stated.

"CAB gave concurrence to the request of Mr Saha and provided the NOC to him for playing for another state. CAB also wished him the very best for his future endeavours," it added

After getting the NOC, Saha, said he was requested to reconsider his decision. "I was asked earlier. Requests have been made again and again today. But my decision has already been made. So today I took NOC," PTI quoted Saha.

But the cricketer added he would never keep any grudge against Bengal and would be ready to serve again if needed in future. "I never had any ego issues with Bengal cricket establishment. Maybe, there was a disagreement with someone (joint secretary Debu), that's why I had to make this decision.

"I extend all my good wishes for Bengal. If I needed in the future, and if the situation is conducive then, I'm there for help," Saha further added before leaving the Eden Gardens premises.

Saha was last in discussion for a player-cum-mentor role with Tripura but a top official claimed that he demanded an "exorbitant fee" for the contract. "There has been no development so far after he asked for an exorbitant fee apart from the regular match fees (Rs 2.4 lakh per match)," the official told PTI. "Tripura is currently mired in problems between two faction groups and there is an ongoing case in the High Court against the current establishment. Elections are due in September," the official added.

Asked where was he heading to in the next season, Saha said: "Talks are on with many states. But, it's still not decided, will let you know when it's 100 per cent confirmed."

But the veteran keeper's claims that Ganguly had assured him of being retained in the Indian team till he remained president, had raised eyebrows and Saha on his part could never produce conclusive evidence that was the former India captain's verbatim statement during an interaction with him.

"After scoring 61 against New Zealand at Kanpur, Dadi (Sourav Ganguly) congratulated me over WhatsApp and mentioned, 'As long as I'm here (heading the BCCI), you would be in the team". "Such a message from the BCCI president really boosted my confidence. What I am struggling to understand is how things have changed so fast," the wicketkeeper-batsman had alleged in his outburst post getting the boot from national team.

Having made his debut against Hyderabad in 2007, the Siliguri-born Saha has featured in 122 first-class and 102 List A games. He also has played 40 Tests and 9 ODIs for India.

(With inputs from PTI)

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Story first published: Saturday, July 2, 2022, 19:52 [IST]
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