Image: CricketCountry File Photo
Image: CricketCountry File Photo

Kolkata: Former India captain and Cricket Association of Bengal president Sourav Ganguly on Wednesday said they will not release left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha for the upcoming domestic season. “He wanted a release but we have not given him. Bengal signed him when Hyderabad were in Plate. We need his service, and how can he leave us now…” Ganguly said at Eden Gardens today, adding that he would join the pre-season practice. ALSO READ: Pragyan Ojha seeks transfer from Bengal to Hyderabad for upcoming domestic season

CAB joint secretary Avishek Dalmiya said they would inform Ojha’s home state association, Hyderabad Cricket Association, on Thursday. HCA secretary T Seshnarayan said, “If they are not releasing Ojha what can we do? We have high regards for Ganguly, he’s a former India captain and he will take a decision in the best interest of the game and cricketers in Bengal.”

Ojha joined Bengal in 2015-16 when Hyderabad were relegated to group C and claimed 36 wickets from nine matches, their joint-highest with pacer Ashok Dinda. Ojha has played 24 Tests for India, claiming 113 wickets at just over 30. He played his last Test almost 4 years back, Sachin Tendulkar’s farewell match and bagged the Man of the Match award. He was dropped since and the rise of Ravindra Jadeja has prevented his return to the national side. Ojha had a lacklustre last season with 10 wickets from six matches and there were reports of discontent within the team.