Bengal pick Saha, Mohammed Shami for Ranji Trophy
Wriddhiman Saha is back in the Bengal squad for their Ranji Trophy quarter-final clash versus Jharkhand, which will be held in Bangalore from June 6.
Mohammed Shami, too, has been included in the squad, subject to clearance from the BCCI.
The squad was selected on Monday evening after a meeting that featured Bengal captain Abhimanyu Easwaran, head coach Arun Lal, chief selector Subhomoy Das, director of cricket operations (CAB) Joydeep Mukherjee and some of the Cricket Association of Bengal office-bearers.
It was learnt that that one of the state association officials had spoken to Shami following which his name was included in the 22-man squad. But surprisingly, till after 11pm on Monday night, none from the CAB had got in touch with Saha — who had skipped the Ranji group phase citing “personal reasons” — to find out if he was keen to play the quarter-final clash.
Agreed, Team India doors are as good as closed for Saha although he has been performing for Gujarat Titans in the ongoing IPL. That’s not the case with Shami, who’s an automatic choice at least in Test cricket. But if Shami can be spoken to about his availability, why can’t the same be done with Saha then? That’s the question that has been doing the rounds.
The CAB, though, was tight-lipped on the matter.
On his part, Saha, too, didn’t make any comment on his inclusion in the Bengal squad. However, it has been learnt that he would be speaking to CAB president Avishek Dalmiya on Tuesday to express his views.
The Bengal team, however, is preparing to go ahead believing that Saha will be available. “Wriddhi is a great asset to the side. If he is available and willing to play, nothing like it,” head coach Lal said.
As for Shami, he may not get the necessary approval from the BCCI because of India’s tour of England.