Well-placed individuals in the know told TOI that “the matter cannot be put to rest until every single detail of what Saha has said in the interview and the tweet he shared is looked into”.
After all of my contributions to Indian cricket..this is what I face from a so called “Respected” journalist! This… https://t.co/3p2z2sqlkf
— Wriddhiman Saha (@Wriddhipops) 1645288925000
The BCCI intends to delve deep into the crisis and also find out if any other cricketer has gone through a similar experience. “Saha is a contracted cricketer of the BCCI. The onus is on the Board to not let its own player down. That aside, if there is any kind of a nexus at work here, one has to look into it,” say officials tracking these developments.
In his interview to ESPNCricinfo on Sunday, after he was dropped from the side, Saha said: “The biggest shock was that when I scored 61 against New Zealand in Kanpur despite being injured, Dadi (as BCCI president Sourav Ganguly is referred to), texted to congratulate me and said I didn’t need to worry about anything till he is there. Naturally, I was shocked at what I was told immediately one series after.”
The question BCCI officials are asking right now is ‘in what capacity did Ganguly give Saha any assurances on selection?’
“The Rahul Dravid-bit is understandable. He’s the national coach and may have wanted to keep his players in the loop. That’s between the coach and the players. What was the need for a BCCI official to speak with Saha and assure him of a place in the side? ‘I don’t need to worry till he’s there’. Kitni galat baat hai yeh (How wrong it is to say something like this),” officials add.
This development follows a recent controversy when it came to the fore that Ganguly had been attending selection committee meetings in the recent past.
“First the Virat incident happened, then all this. And then he’s (Saha) posted that tweet of the screenshot (of messages he received from a journalist). What the h*** is happening? The Board has to act because enough is enough,” say those tracking developments.
Here is the WhatApp message Saha received (in verbatim): “Do an interview with me. Will be good. If you want to be democratic then I won’t push.
“They choose one wicket-keeper. Whoever is the best. You try to choose 11 journalists which is not the beset according to me. Choose whoever can help the most.
(a missed call shows on the screenshot of the chat)
“You did not call. Never again will I interview you. I don’t take insults kindly. And I will remember this. This wasn’t something ypu (sic) should have done”.
Several senior cricketers like Virender Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh, RP Singh, Aakash Chopra, and even former India coach Ravi Shastri came out in support of Saha, urging that the said journalist be named.
Extremely sad. Such sense of entitlement, neither is he respected nor a journalist, just chamchagiri. With you Wri… https://t.co/JqTcgQXoKf
— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) 1645325638000
“Shocking a player being threatened by a journo. Blatant position abuse. Something that’s happening too frequently with #TeamIndia. Time for the BCCI PREZ to dive in. Find out who the person is in the interest of every cricketer. This is serious coming from the ultimate team man WS” – Shastri’s Tweet read.
Shocking a player being threatened by a journo. Blatant position abuse. Something that’s happening too frequently w… https://t.co/S9QUYdbKaR
— Ravi Shastri (@RaviShastriOfc) 1645375371000
BCCI will approach Saha and ask him to share the WhatsApp messages following which a forensic investigation will be called for. “If the sender of those messages indeed happens to be a journalist covering Indian cricket, the Board will take steps towards banning him,” an official said.
Wridhi you just name the person so that the cricket community knows who operates like this. Else even the good ones… https://t.co/IuLpE0J6xD
— Harbhajan Turbanator (@harbhajan_singh) 1645347729000
The Board’s bigger worry here is stemming from the fact that there could be more cricketers going through similar trauma. “It is also important to see if anybody else has gone through this,” he added.
When it is about BCCI or cricketers, we hear so many ‘sources’ from all the journalists. Can a single source tell m… https://t.co/bQfs6MFu09
— R P Singh रुद्र प्रताप सिंह (@rpsingh) 1645345752000