Wriddhiman Saha.
Wriddhiman Saha. Image Credit: X

Former India captain and a star of Bengal’s cricket fraternity, Sourav Ganguly wants experienced wicket-keeper batter Wriddhiman Saha to hang up his shoes in the domestic career, only after playing his ‘one last match’ for his home state, Bengal.

On Monday, the Tripura Cricket Association (TCA) joint secretary Jayanta Dey revealed that the former India left-hand opener has asked Saha to play his farewell first-class game for his home state.

It also needs to be noted that the former wicket-keeper used to play for Bengal at the beginning, before shifting his base to Tripura in 2022.

Wriddhiman Saha could play his ‘one last match’ for Bengal

Wriddhiman Saha was part of the Gujarat Titans (GT) in the recently-concluded Indian Premier League (IPL), where he could manage only 136 runs in nine games at an average of only 15.11 and a strike rate of 118.26, with a best of only 39.

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The Siliguri-born boy has been a pillar for India in the longest format of the game, especially after the retirement of former India captain MS Dhoni, as he has notched up 1353 runs in 40 games at an average of close to 30, besides shouldering on six fifties and three hundreds.

One of the reasons behind the success of the India spinners at home in the white-shirt format has been Wriddhiman Saha, who with some fabulous techniques and acrobatic skills has helped the bowlers in taking those wickets. Even against the pacers, he was excellent too with his glove work.

The GT opener represented Bengal for more than a decade joining the Tripura team as player-cum mentor. According to few of the news reports, the 39-year-old had a meeting with the former president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), Sourav Ganguly in Kolkata.

‘Ganguly wants (Wriddhiman) Saha to retire for Bengal, playing at least one last match. Saha told me this. But he’s yet to ask for an NOC (no objection certificate) from Tripura,” The TCA joint secretary Jayanta Dey told the reporters.

In 136 first-class games, mostly for the Bengal state, the wicket-keeper batter has managed 7013 runs at an average of around 42, and a strike rate of nearly 50, with 43 half-centuries and 14 hundreds.

While speaking to the ESPNcricinfo, Wriddhiman Saha revealed the fact that he was dropped from the India team, and was asked to retire indirectly. For the first time since Dhoni hang his boots, Saha was left out of the red-ball team for the first time in 2022 during the home Sri Lanka series.

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‘After the South Africa series, Rahul bhai [Rahul Dravid, the head coach] called me to the room and said, “Wriddhi, I don’t know how to say this, but for some time now the selectors and the team management have been wanting to look at a new face (as wicketkeeper). Because you are not our first-choice wicketkeeper, because you haven’t been playing for a while, we want to use this time to groom a younger wicketkeeper,” Wriddhiman Saha mentioned to the ESPNcricinfo during an interview.

With Rishabh Pant and Dhruv Jurel doing great job in the lower-middle order for the Test team, and a brilliant job with the wicket-keeping gloves, it’s unlikely that Wriddhiman Saha would make a comeback in the India team. But, it’s interesting to see if Bengal could arrange a farewell Test for him.