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Wriddhiman Saha deposes before committee, talk show host Majumdar says screenshots doctored

When contacted Majumdar said he would file a defamation suit against the wicketkeeper

Written by Shamik Chakrabarty | Kolkata |
Updated: March 6, 2022 4:43:34 pm
boria wriddhiman sahaWriddhiman Saha and Boria Majumdar. (PTI/Screengrab)

On the day Wriddhiman Saha deposed before the BCCI-appointed three-member committee and said he had told them ‘everything’ about the identity of the unnamed person, who had allegedly “bullied” the wicketkeeper-batsman for an interview, talk show host Boria Majumdar, too, sent a chronological statement to the cricket board. In it, Majumdar accused the cricketer of “doctoring” the screenshots of the WhatsApp messages.

Saha made his deposition before the committee comprising the cricket board’s vice-president Rajiv Shukla, treasurer Arun Dhumal and the BCCI Apex Council member Prabhtej Singh Bhatia.

After testifying before the probe committee, Saha told reporters, “I have told the committee everything I know. I have shared all the details with them. I can’t tell you much right now. BCCI has asked me not to talk about the meeting outside as they will answer all your queries.” The Indian Express learnt that Saha had named Mujumdar, who hosts a show ‘backstage with Boria’.

When contacted Majumdar he told this paper that he would file a defamation suit against Saha. “I’m filing a defamation case on Wriddhiman Saha. He has doctored, tampered and manipulated screenshots. Earlier today, I have sent the BCCI all the details and I have emailed everybody in the BCCI the entire sequence of events. I have also tweeted my side of the story,” Majumdar said. The BCCI constituted the committee last week “to look into the matter of Wriddhiman Saha receiving threats and intimidation from a senior journalist”.

The 37-year-old wicketkeeper posted a tweet on February 19. “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.”

Saha then shared screenshots of messages from the journalist which read: “You did not call. Never again will I interview you. I don’t take insults kindly. And I will remember this.”

A lot of former cricketers, including ex-Indian team head coach Ravi Shastri, sympathised with Saha, but the latter refused to name the journalist in public.

Majumdar narrated his version of the sequence of events. “I have not even spoken to the man on the 19th (February). My call records and his call records can be checked. I had last spoken to him on the 13th when I called to congratulate him for his Rs 1.9 crore deal with the Gujarat Titans and that was when I requested him for an interview. He said once he goes home, he would talk to me at 8 pm and asked me to send him a Zoom link. After that I waited for two-and-a-half hours.”

In his statement to the BCCI, the Majumdar has claimed that Saha’s manager visited his residence on February 1 and set up “two interviews as a brand building exercise”. On February 10, ahead of the IPL mega auction, Majumdar had sent some texts to the player via WhatsApp.

A series of texts was sent on February 13 also after Saha was roped in by Gujarat Titans on the second day of the auction. The journalist’s statement gave details of his WhatsApp texts to Saha, claiming that the latter had “confirmed an interview over Zoom”. As per the statement, the context of the texts was “the disappointment over failure of Mr. Saha to comply with his professional commitment and hence was an expression of dismay by Mr. Majumdar”. Majumdar has denied any threats or hostile action.

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Saha went unsold on Day One of the auction before getting his IPL contract the following day. Before that, he was left out of the Indian team for the two-Test series against Sri Lanka.

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