Boria Majumdar-Wriddhiman Saha spat: Here are the ugly details from the BCCI report

FPJ Web Desk | Updated on: Wednesday, May 04, 2022, 04:07 PM IST

India cricketer Wriddhiman Saha |
India cricketer Wriddhiman Saha |

Journalist and historian Boria Majumdar is likely to be banned by BCCI for two years wherein he will not be allowed inside any stadium in the country.

The Indian board will also be writing to ICC so that the world body blacklist Majumdar, according to a report in the New Indian.

The news comes after a three-member panel set up by BCCI found Majumdar guilty of intimidating India wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha.

It was on February 19 that the incident came to light with Saha tweeting the screenshot of his conversation with the journalist which showed how Majumdar threatened the cricketer to appear in an interview.

Now, according to a report in The New Indian Express, who claim to have a copy of the report, reveal Majumdar tried to coerce Saha.

While Saha was heard on March 5 in Delhi, Majumdar was heard on March 11.

“The player (Saha) mentioned that he did not appreciate the tone and the content of the messages. He further mentioned that the tone and the attitude of Majumdar have always been aggressive. He would insist on interviews at the exclusion of other journalists projecting himself as better than others. This heavy-handed attitude was something which had irked the player in the past as well. However, the threatening language and tone used on February 13, 2022, had crossed limits and he had decided to make it public so that the world can know how certain journalists are treating cricketers and create a precedent so that young and inexperienced players are not treated poorly by journalists,” the report on findings, while quoting Saha, says.

The report reveals that while BCCI was hearing Saha on March 5, Majumdar suddenly took to Twitter, explaining his version of the events.

“On the same day, he also sent a written statement to the BCCI and requested the BCCI to hear his version of the events. The Committee, in light of the circumstances, thought it to be prudent to hear the views” the report says.

However, in its report, BCCI, while explaining the submission made by Majumdar on March 11, during the hearing, says he first made efforts to call the Whatsapp screenshots as doctored and then submitted that “the player (Saha) and Majumdar have known each other and have been friends for the last 12 years. Majumdar had also accused Saha of trying to gain sympathy, saying he released the 7-10 days old tweet on the day after the Indian team for the Sri Lanka series was released in which the Player (Saha) was not selected.

BCCI disagreed with Majumdar on all three counts.

“With respect to the submission of Majumdar regarding the player doctoring the screenshot of the WhatsApp messages, the Committee has gone through the messages from both the Player and Majumdar. The committee finds that merely blurring the date of the messages does not amount to doctoring the screenshot in the instant matter. The subject matter of the enquiry does not turn on whether the date was blurred or not. The content did not change. The Player did not alter the wordings in the messages whose screenshot was uploaded by the Player,” the findings say.

In its conclusive remarks, the BCCI slammed Majumdar and said no cricketer in India can be coerced to give an interview and there has to be free will in this process even if there are friendly relations between the journalist and player.

“It becomes immaterial if the relationship between a journalist and a cricketer is that of a friend or not. It is a professional relationship and the cricketer is well within his rights to refuse an interview if he or she so desires. In this instance as well, it is the player’s prerogative, if he wanted to give an interview or not. Even assuming that the player and Majumdar were friends and had a long-standing relationship, this does not give Majumdar the right to demand an interview or coerce the Player to do an interview,” said the findings.

“Further, it is immaterial that the Player posted the messages on social media a week after they were exchanged with the Player or it was done on the day the Test team against Sri Lanka was announced. The fact remains that Majumdar sent those exact messages to the Player which by themselves come off as threatening to any player,” the findings revealed.

(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. To receive it on Telegram, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Published on: Sunday, April 24, 2022, 08:44 PM IST