The Indian Cricketers’ Association on Tuesday released a statement and the body condemned the “threatening message” sent by a journalist to wicketkeeper-batter Wriddhiman Saha. The ICA has also welcomed the BCCI’s decision to probe the issue. “We acknowledge the fact that the media plays a very important role both in the growth of our game and the players but there’s always a line that must never be crossed. What has happened in Saha’s case is totally unacceptable and we call for the respective press organisations too to take up the matter and ensure such things are not repeated,” ICA President Ashok Malhotra said in an official statement.
On the same day, he was dropped from the Test team for Sri Lanka, Saha took to Twitter to share how a “respected journalist” approached him for an interview and how the messages soon became threatening.
“We would offer our full support to Saha at this juncture. No player should be subjected to such ‘threats’ from anyone in the media or elsewhere. We urge the media to also come out in support of Saha and ensure that these sorts of issues don’t crop up again. Any interaction between a player and the media has always to be voluntary,” Hitesh Majumdar, the ICA Secretary said.
In his tweet, Saha had stated: ” “After all of my contributions to Indian cricket..this is what I face from a so-called ‘Respected’ journalist! This is where the journalism has gone.”
Earlier, Team India head coach Rahul Dravid on Sunday confirmed that he had a conversation with Wriddhiman Saha earlier this year, where he conveyed to him that the management is looking to groom a young wicketkeeper and the time might have run out for the Bengal cricketer.
Dravid’s clarification came a day after Saha in the media opened up on how Dravid suggested retirement as he would not be considered for selection in the longest format.
“I am not actually hurt at all, I have deep respect for Wriddhiman Saha and his achievements and his contribution to Indian cricket. My conversation with him came from that place, I just felt that he deserved honesty and clarity. I did not want him to learn about it from the media. These are conversations I constantly have with players and I am not hurt about it. I do not expect players to always like the messages or to agree with everything I have to say,” said Dravid during a virtual press conference.
“You have difficult conversations with people, sometimes you need to have them with players and you do not expect them to agree with you every time. I truly believe in having those conversations every time playing XI is picked. Even now, Rohit and I will speak to the guys who are not playing. It is natural for players to get hurt and feel respect, because of the respect I have for Wriddhiman, he deserved honesty and clarity,” he added.
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