Indian wicketkeeper-batter Wriddhiman Saha raised the point of IPL franchise Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) excluding Bengal players.
KKR finished in seventh place on the IPL 2022 points table with six wins under Shreyas Iyer.
Sourav Ganguly was the first captain of the franchise in IPL 2008, where many players from the state team like Saha, Saurasish Lahiri, Rohan Banerjee and Laxmi Ratan Shukla. Manoj Tiwary, Debarata Das and Mohammed Shami have also played for the two-time IPL champions in IPL.
They don’t believe that Bengal players can do well: Wriddhiman Saha
KKR have not included a single Bengal player in the 25-member squad for the last five seasons. Sayan Ghosh was the last player from the Bengal state team to be part of KKR’s squad in IPL 2017 even though he didn’t play any game for the team.
Saha, who played 33 games for KKR in the first three seasons, said the franchise doesn’t trust the potential of Bengal players.
“You need to see if KKR’s scouts and management have enough faith in Bengal players. Maybe they don’t believe that Bengal players can do well,” Saha told Sportskeeda.
We would love to see more Bengal players in KKR: Avishek Dalmiya
Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) president Avishek Dalmiya also reflected on the topic and mentioned his request to the BCCI.
“We would love to see more Bengal players in KKR. I had raised the issue of reviving the catchment area concept in IPL in the BCCI,” Dalmiya said on the sidelines of the inter-school KMC Mayor’s Cup final at Eden Gardens.
Saha was part of Gujarat Titans’ title triumph in IPL 2022, he scored 317 runs in 11 innings at 31.70 with three half-centuries.
“Everyone said that Gujarat bought discarded and unsold players, but here we are! We never tried to prove anyone wrong. It was business as usual for us and we kept things simple by taking one match at a time. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and we fully respect that,” Saha said.
Saha has decided to exit from the Bengal state side after playing for almost 15 years in various domestic competitions.