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Sports


Hanuma Vihari stirs hornet's nest, says will never play for Andhra

Hanuma Vihari stirs hornet's nest, says will never play for Andhra
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Hyderabad, Feb 26 (UNI) Test cricketer Hanuma Vihari on Monday announced he would never play for Andhra Pradesh again after the state's apex cricket body unceremoniously asked him to resign from captaincy.
Vihari alleged that he was asked to resign by the Andhra Cricket Association (ACA) without any fault of his as he did not say anything on a personal note to one of his team members.
Narrating the sordid episode on X, Vihari said, "This post is about some facts I want to put forward. I was the captain in the first game against Bengal, during that game I shouted at the 17th player and he complained to his dad (who is a politician), his dad in return asked the Association to take action against me."
He added: "Although we chased 410 against last year’s finalists Bengal, I was asked to resign from captaincy without any fault of mine."
Vihari said he never said anything on a personal note to the player but the association took action against him who gave his body on the line last year and batted left-handed, taking Andhra to knockouts five times in the last seven years and played for India in 16 tests.
"I didn't said anything on a personal note to the player but the association thought that player was more important than the guy who gave his body on the line last year," he added.
Vihari said he felt embarrassed but the only reason he continued playing this season was because he respected the game and his team.
"The sad part is association thinks that players have to listen to whatever they say and players are there because of them. I felt humiliated and embarrassed but I've not expressed it out until today," he revealed.
"I love the team. I love the way we're growing every season but the association doesn't want us to grow," he rued.
In response to Vihari's allegations, ACA said it upholds equal treatment for all players, without favouring individuals based on seniority or perceived importance.
Addressing the issue, the association said Vihari personally verbally abused a specific player during the Bengal Ranji game in everyone's presence and the affected player filed an official complaint with it.
"In January 2024, following the first Ranji Trophy game, an email from the Chairman of the Senior Selection Committee proposed a new captain due to Vihari's status as an Indian prospect affecting his season-long availability. Vihari, in response, expressed appreciation for the decision, leading to Ricky Bhui being announced as the new captain by the senior selection committee," the association stated.
"Complaints were received from teammates, support staff, and ACA administrators about Vihari's use of foul language and abusive behavior," it added.
Previously, during the Mushtaq Ali tournament, the Andhra team manager lodged complaints about internal groupism, VCA said.
Since joining Andhra from Hyderabad, Vihari has frequently sought a No Objection Certificate (NOC) to move to other states after receiving offers, and on occasions, he swiftly reversed this decision, apologizing for expressing frustration and expressing a desire to continue playing for Andhra, it stated.
"Considering his experience, which will ultimately benefit the Andhra Cricket Team, we have accepted his request to continue. ACA will conduct a thorough inquiry into all the complaints and the due course of action will be communicated shortly," ACA Media Manager D Raja Gopal said.
Meanwhile, Vihari posted a letter written to the VCA CEO and Secretary by 15 Andhra players on X, clarifying that Vihari did not approach the affected player aggressively and requested ACA to continue Vihari as captain.
The letter also stated that this sort of language was very common in the team atmosphere and it was always for getting the best out of the team.
"This kind of language has been used for long ages in the team dressing room. Unfortunately one of the team members took it personally. All the team players including the support staff have been witness to it, and we want Vihari to continue as our captain since we have no issues with him and he always brought the best out of us and as you can see the team has done very well and united in his leadership and also qualified more than 7 times under his leadership," it said.
"Sir this Ranji season means a lot to us as players and we have prepared so well and also started the tournament with a win against Bengal. As Andhra Ranji team players we want Vihari to lead our side," the letter stated. UNI BDN SSP

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