NEW DELHI/KOLKATA: A detailed investigation by the Board for Cricket Control in India (BCCI), into the incident involving an interview demanded by a journalist, has lauded the wicketkeeper-cricketer Wrridhiman Saha for his exceptional handling of the episode that took the media fraternity by storm.
To avoid any such instances with other players, the BCCI said it had launched the probe to ascertain the following:
“1. The name of the journalist who had sent the messages to the Player? and 2. Whether the messages sent to the Player were in the nature of threat and intimidation?”
BCCI said, while hearing both the player (Saha) and Majumdar on March 5 and 11 respectively, it came to its conclusion that “both work and operate in a professional set up and the language used by Majumdar qualifies as unprofessional”.
“Majumdar is an educated person who has been in this profession for many years having written many books and interviewed many cricketers. He has been in the cricketing ecosystem for more than a decade. He is wise enough to understand what is acceptable and what is not. According to this committee, there was a clear attempt to use intimidation as a tactic to get the interview which cannot and should not be tolerated,” says the BCCI in its final report.
BCCI also made a stunning disclosure that Saha mentioned to them that he has been feeling pressured for the past 2-3 years from Majumdar and that Majumdar has been very demanding with his requests for interviews.
“The committee appreciates the manner in which Wriddhiman Saha has conducted himself during this entire incident. He never gave the name of the journalist except to the committee and remained tight-lipped after the hearing as well. He showed courage to bring out an issue which may have been affecting other cricketers as well. His efforts will help other cricketers, especially inexperienced cricketers, who are new to the media glare,” the report adds in its findings.
In fact, such was the calm demeanour displayed by Saha that the BCCI says that the cricketer didn’t name Boria Majumdar even in an email query by the cricket body.
“Accordingly, on February 21, 2022, the BCCI sent an email requesting the Player (Saha) to, inter alia, share the name of the journalist. However, the Player vide an email dated February 22, 2022, stated that on grounds of humanity he doesn’t wish to accede to BCCI’s request to disclose or expose the name of the journalist” the report says.
BCCI, which has proposed a two-year ban for Boria, on getting any accreditation as a member of the press in any of the cricket matches as well getting any interview with any of the registered players in India, also said that it feels that the “aforementioned sanctions will create a precedent and going forward the cricketers will not be subjected to harassment by journalists”.
However, BCCI, which gave both a patient hearing, in its report, has said that the committee also took cognizance of the hate messages directed at Majumdar and his family and condemns the same equivocally.
Overall, the BCCI has said that the present findings by it represent a culmination of an elaborate process with strict adherence to rules of natural justice, standards of objectivity and fairness in process and decision-making.
(Part three of the story to follow. Keep reading newindian.in)