Indian wicketkeeper-batter Wriddhiman Saha opened up on his decision to skip the Ranji Trophy 2022 season for the Bengal team. On Saturday, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced squads for the Test and T20I series against Sri Lanka.
Saha along with senior batters Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara was excluded from the two-match Test series against Sri Lanka at home. Since Rishabh Pant made his Test debut for India in 2018 in England, Saha has just played nine Tests for the Indian team as he was considered a second-choice gloveman in red-ball cricket.
Indian selectors dropped Wriddhiman Saha for not playing in Ranji Trophy 2022
The 37-year-old player was unbeaten on 61 in the second innings of the Kanpur Test against New Zealand in November last year. While mentioning the reason to drop Saha from the squad, Chetan Sharma, chairman of the selection committee, asserted Saha’s decision not to play Ranji Trophy as the criteria for the Bengal player’s omission from the Test squad.
“I can’t tell you on what grounds he has been dropped. That’s for selectors. All I can tell you is that he was told before and asked to play the Ranji trophy, which is the ladder for the Indian team. What we discussed between ourselves we can’t tell you,” Sharma said.
“Why he did not play Ranji, the state association CAB can tell you that. That is not my jurisdiction. As selectors, we wanted them to play. We are not looking at age.
“When there are youngsters sitting outside, we thought we shall give chance. For these two test matches. But it’s important to play Ranji. Else, how will we know if you are match-ready?” he further mentioned.
I was surprised to see how the entire matter got leaked: Wriddhiman Saha
Responding to the claims of the selection committee, Saha said he wanted to spend time with his family and was stunned to see that his decision was the talking point for the selectors. The 37-year-old also mentioned that he is getting ready for IPL 2022 with his new team.
“Just before I left for South Africa, my wife was admitted to the hospital on account of dengue. Even though she is better, she is not fully fit. So, after being inside the bubble for months, I decided to be with the family and spend some time with the children. That became a big talking point,” Saha told Sportstar.
“I was surprised to see how the entire matter got leaked to the media, and my decision of not playing the Ranji Trophy became such a big issue. Back then, I thought that it is important to spend time with the family and that’s why I took the decision.
“I am gearing up for the IPL stint with Gujarat Titans. If the management decides to give me a chance in the playing eleven, I will try and deliver. I have not decided what I will do next season…” he added.
Saha has played 40 Tests for India and has amassed 1353 runs at an average of 29.41 since his debut against South Africa in 2010. He has conjured 104 dismissals behind the stumps– 92 catches and 12 stumpings.