The chairman of India’s senior men’s cricket team Chetan Sharma did not disclose the exact reason for ignoring Saha, but stated that the player was told about it just after the South Africa Test series. “I can’t tell you on what grounds he (Saha) has been dropped. That is for the selectors only. All I can tell you is that he was told before,” he said on Saturday after announcing the squad.
Saha agreed to that. “Yes, the team management told me that I would not be considered henceforth. I could not tell this so long as I was part of the India team setup,” he said on Saturday. “Even coach Rahul Dravid suggested that I think about taking retirement,” he added.
But what pained the Siliguri boy was silence on the part of board president Sourav Ganguly on the matter.
“When I hit an unbeaten 61 taking a pain-killer in the first Test against New Zealand in Kanpur last November, Dadi (as Sourav was referred to by Bengal players) congratulated me over Whatsapp. He even mentioned that I should not worry about anything so long as he is at the helm of the BCCI. Such a message from the board president really boosted my confidence. But I failed to understand why everything changed so fast,” he stated.
The former India pacer also did not point out age to have played a factor in 37-year-old Saha’s ouster. “We don’t give much importance to age but at one point, the selectors start to think when you get some youngsters outside and want to give them a chance.”
But Sharma expressed surprise not to see Saha playing the Ranji trophy. “He (Saha) was asked to play the Ranji trophy. This selection committee believes that unless you are unfit, under load management or busy with international cricket, you should play in domestic cricket. That is very important. How will we know if you are match-ready?” he said.
Saha, who skipped Bengal’s Ranji matches this season due to ‘personal reasons’ seems not ready to hang up his boots now. He indicated that he will return to play for Bengal, even in this season if the team makes the knockout round.