In an
unprecedented decision, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), for the first time, has
announced a ban on a journalist. Journalist Boria Majumdar has been banned for two years for “threatening and
intimidating” India wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha. The ban includes no press
accreditation for Majumdar for matches in India, no access to centrally
contracted players and no access to BCCI’s state associations’ facilities. The
ban was effectively announced by the Indian cricket board after a three-member fact-finding
committee apprised the board about the entire episode side.

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The committee
comprising board’s vice-president Rajiv Shukla, treasurer Arun Dhumal and the
Apex Council member Prabhtej Singh Bhatia found Boria Majumdar guilty of
“bullying” Saha. The BCCI will inform the ICC about their announcement of
the ban on the journalist. So, it is likely that the ICC could also ban him.

The committee
talked to both Wriddhiman Saha and Boria Majumdar and concluded that the
WhatsApp messages sent to Saha by Majumdar were “indeed in the nature of threat
and intimidation”.

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The BCCI formed
the committee after Saha took to Twitter to share the screenshot of messages
Majumdar sent to him on February 19 for not responding to his call for an

The screenshot
of the messages read: “After all of my contributions to Indian cricket..this is
what I face from a so called “Respected” journalist! This is where the
journalism has gone.” Another message purportedly sent by the journalist had
said: “You did not call. Never again will I interview you. I don’t take insults
kindly. And I will remember this.”

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This incident
happened just after Saha was dropped from the Indian team for the Test home
series against Sri Lanka. The cricketing community stood behind Saha calling
for strong action against Boria Majumdar. Former head coach Ravi Shastri and
former opener Virender Sehwag were among the big names who took to Twitter to
express their anger against the journalist.

Saha initially
refused to name the journalist in public as he didn’t intend to hurt his
career. But later as Saha revealed the journalist’s name in front of the BCCI
committee, which was though not in public yet, the journalist took to Twitter
to announce that he will file a defamation suit against Saha for doctoring his

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Majumdar’s allegation did not find the ground. In the end, he had to bear the brunt of breaching journalistic ethics. Boria Majumdar is known for his series of interviews with top
Indian cricketers. He might not have expected a ‘no’ from Saha for an interview
who just had been dropped from the team. He also thought that he will impose
his authority over the cricketer who would not dare to reveal his insulting
messages in public. Boria Majumdar, in the end, paid the price for being
overconfident. He did not stay true to the journalistic principle of respecting
the interviewee’s decision.