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BCCI bans journalist Boria Majumdar for two years for ‘intimidation’ of Wriddhiman Saha

The BCCI has banned Boria Majumdar, the Kolkata-based journalist Wriddhiman Saha had pointed at for “threat and intimidation”, for two years. Majumdar will not get press accreditation for domestic or international matches in India, interviews with any “registered players”, and access to cricket facilities owned by the BCCI or the state/member associations.

In a missive sent to its members, the BCCI said that a three-member committee comprising vice-president Rajeev Shukla, treasurer Arun Dhumal and councillor Prabhtej Singh Bhatia had spoken to both Saha and Majumdar and concluded that Majumdar’s actions “were indeed in the nature of threat and intimidation”. They recommended the sanctions to the BCCI’s Apex Council, which agreed and imposed the ban.

In February, Saha, who had been dropped from India’s Test team for the home series against Sri Lanka, had taken to Twitter to publish a screenshot of messages that a journalist had sent him on WhatsApp. The screenshot showed the sender requesting Saha “to do an interview with me”, to which Saha did not respond. The messages eventually took a more aggressive tone: “You did not call. Never again will I interview you. I don’t take insults kindly. And I will remember this. This wasn’t something ypu [sic] should have done.”

Though Saha hadn’t named the journalist in question, Majumdar responded on March 5, saying he would serve a legal notice to Saha for defamation. Majumdar, in a video he put out on social media, said the screenshot Saha had put out was a doctored version of an exchange between the two.

The BCCI, as it says in the message to the member associations, “had taken congnizance of this incident and deemed it necessary to investigate and probe the matter to avoid the recurrence of such instances with other players”, and formed the three-member committee. The committee subsequently “considered the submissions” of Saha and Majumdar before arriving at their decision.

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