Kolkata: Former Indian international Pragyan Ojha faces the threat of losing out on a year of his First Class career after the Cricket Association of Bengal refused to give him an NOC (No-Objection Certificate) to play for his home state, Hyderabad.
Two seasons ago, the left-arm spinner had left Hyderabad and had joined Bengal as a guest player. Now he wanted to return to his home state and and the new officials of the Hyderabad Cricket Association also showed interest in having him back in their team along with Ambati Rayudu. While Rayudu has been granted a NOC by Vidarbha Cricket Association, Ojha wasn’t released from the CAB camp.
According to sources, former Indian skipper and CAB president Sourav Ganguly said that he wanted the 31-year-old to represent Bengal for one more season but Ojha wasn’t willing to do so.
Things worsened when he failed to turn up for Bengal’s preparatory camp and in due course, he wasn’t selected in the squad. As Ojha failed to obtain the NOC, the HCA too decided to overlook Ojha.
The media hasn’t been able to hear from Ojha regarding these events but sources close to the players say that he is very upset with these developments.
“How can CAB deny him a NOC when he made it clear to them that he is not keen on playing for Bengal this season? Much before the start of the season, he had told the CAB officials of his non-availability. What is the guarantee that CAB will release him next year too?” said a source to The Times of India.
“Ojha is maintaining a silence on the issue as he doesn’t want to complicate the matter. Things are already bad for him and he doesn’t want it to get any worse as he will be the loser in the process,” the source further added.
The source also said, “It is made to look as if Ojha is absconding but the fact is that he had lost his grandfather a couple of weeks ago and therefore was not in contact with anyone. However, he had informed the CAB officials of it.”
Some sources also revealed that the left-armer has written to BCCI CEO Rahul Johri and other officials and also to the Supreme Court appointed Committee of Administrators informing them about the matter. But the BCCI hasn’t responded as yet.
The same had happened last year also when the Andhra Cricket Association (ACA) had maintained that former India player Y Venugopala Rao take a one-year cooling off period from First Class cricket.
It is indeed sad to see the plight of an international player under such circumstances and it is during these times that one realises the need for a Cricket Players Association as recommended by the Lodha Committee which would deal with such issues.