Wriddhiman Saha has decided to leave Bengal, but the wicketkeeper batter has yet to decide on his new destination. He admits that he has spoken with quite a few people from different state units, but has not yet gotten into any particular team.
“Since I decided that I would not play for Bengal, I (Cricket Association of Bengal President, Avishek Dalmiya) had been informed by telephone. But I will meet him in person and complete the formalities,” said Saha sports star, indicates that he will soon formally request a declaration of no objection (NOC).
Saha had previously informed the state unit that he was unwilling to play the Ranji Trophy knockouts starting on June 6. Shortly after the Bangladeshi squad for the Ranji knockouts was released by the CAB, Saha had a long chat with Dalmiya, where he stated that he would not be allowed to play for Bengal anymore.
READ † Saha not willing to play Ranji Trophy knockouts
He was angry at comments from a senior CAB official, who had questioned Saha’s commitment after deciding to skip the group stage of the Ranji Trophy for personal reasons.
Last week, he even left the Bangladesh team’s WhatsApp group, despite coach Arun Lal having a chat with the Indian international.
While his wife Romi had previously indicated that Saha might be leaving Bengal, the cricketer had remained silent. But on Thursday, he broke his silence.
“It is also a very sad feeling for me that I have to experience something like this after playing for Bengal for so long. It is disappointing that people make such comments and question your integrity. As a player I had never experienced anything like this in the past , but now that it has happened, even I have to move on,” Saha added.
There were speculations that he could move to Gujarat next season. Saha, however, kept her lips tight. “I have spoken to a lot of people, but no decision has been made yet. There is still time left for next season…”
After being left out of the Indian test team for the home series against Sri Lanka in March, Saha made his way to the Indian Premier League and had a successful stint with the champion Gujarat Titans. Saha led off the innings for Titans alongside Shubman Gill and collected 317 runs.
“I just went to the IPL to contribute to Gujarat Titans and help them win. I’m glad we won the title, but I don’t think too much about what’s going to happen now or what should have happened. My job was to perform and I just did,” added Saha.
READ † Saha’s participation in doubt despite his name in Bengal’s Ranji squad
After spending two and a half months in the bio bubble, Saha now wants to spend quality time with the family and go on vacation.
Looking back on his stint with Gujarat Titans, Saha has nothing but fond memories.
“It was a happy unit, where we could express ourselves and communicate. There would be open sessions over breakfast or mealtime or even team sessions where we would all talk about our plans and vision,” he said.
“It wasn’t just about communicating with Hardik (Pandya) or Ashish Nehra. We have spoken to everyone and we have exchanged views. That approached us to achieve our goal as a unit and we all knew what the plan would be…”
After choosing Matthew Wade as the opener for the first five games, the team management brought in Saha and he did not disappoint.
“Every game is important for a team. While one match can be a defining moment in a player’s career, it also has a huge impact on the team’s position in the points table. So we had to look at every game that way and play accordingly,” said Saha.
“When a team goes into the auction, they pick players with a certain idea. I think they would have considered Wade a first choice wicketkeeper opener. He obviously performed very well in the T20 World Cup, and perhaps that is why initially the team management kept going with him. But later, to make up for the combination, I was chosen. I have tried in every way to contribute to the success of the team…”
In his long career, Saha has played for several franchises – including Kolkata Knight Riders, Chennai Super Kings and Punjab Kings – but at Titans he had the opportunity to express himself and play with an open mind. That helped him score points and contribute to the team’s title win.