“Like me, Wriddhiman Saha has been dropped from the Indian team at his peak” – Syed Kirmani reveals the injustice he has suffered in his career

Syed Kirmani speaks on Saha’s exclusion from the team.

 

 

Bengal wicketkeeper-batter Wriddhiman Saha’s exclusion from India’s Test squad for the upcoming two-match home series against Sri Lanka has caused a great uproar in the country’s cricket community.The news came as such a big shock to legendary Indian gloveman Syed Kirmani that it revived some unpleasant memories of his own playing career. An important part of India’s first World Cup-winning team in 1983, Kirmani’s exploits behind the stumps won him the “Best Wicket-keeper” award at the grand event in England.

 

However, within a couple of years since he reached the zenith of world cricket, Kirmani was dropped from the Indian team on the pretext of an injury. He went back to domestic cricket and proved his fitness, but the door to the national team remained shut for him.Kirmani finds a striking similarity between the incident and Saha’s snub, implying how unfairly the 37-year-old has been excludes from the team despite being fit and scoring a match-saving 61* with a back pain against New Zealand in his last Test innings in Kanpur in November 2021.

 

Speaking on Saha’s exclusion from the team, he said “Saha has got tremendous competition around him with all the youngsters performing well in the IPL and other limited-overs matches. He’s obviously very sad, but every cricketer has to go through the ups and downs, right? We don’t know what the selection committee and the team management think about the player. I have also been a victim of injustice, but nobody talks about it.”

 

When asked on why was he dropped from the Indian Team in 1986, he said ” I don’t know. I was at the pinnacle of my career around that time. Yet, I was dropped from both the Test and ODI teams for no fault of mine. There was no competition around me. I played 88 Tests and was the savior of India’s ODI team on many occasions.Do you know, wrong reports were published in the newspapers suggesting that I was performing poorly? While somebody else would drop a catch in the slip cordon, they [the media] would publish my photograph and insinuate that Kirmani had dropped a catch or missed a stumping!” He further added “In 1986, I suffered a minor injury, but a big issue was made out of it. In fact, the then manager of the Indian team claimed, “An injured Kirmani has to return home” before dropping me. I still have a cutout of that article. Why would you do that when I was performing so well? Actually, I caught a leg-side flick of Allan Border and went rolling down [in a World Series Cup match during India’s tour of Australia in 1985-86]. I got up and just shook my ankles to check if everything was alright. They took a cue from it and dropped me under the false pretext of an injury [laughs]!”

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