msid 108072397,imgsize 30866

NEW DELHI: Days after Indian cricketer Hanuma Vihari strongly expressed his decision to refrain from playing for Andhra in domestic cricket due to political interference leading to his removal from the captaincy, the Andhra Cricket Association (ACA) has countered, alleging that the remaining team members were coerced into signing a letter supporting the right-handed batter.
Following Andhra’s narrow four-run defeat to Madhya Pradesh in the Ranji Trophy quarter-final at Indore’s Holkar Stadium on Monday, Vihari disclosed that his resignation from the captaincy after the initial round was not driven by personal reasons but rather by political meddling.
Vihari posted a copy of his statement on social media, accompanied by a photo of his teammates’ signatures endorsing his reinstatement as captain. However, the ACA, as reported by India Today, claims that the other cricketers were pressured to sign the letter in favor of Vihari.

“He asked the Andhra Cricket Association to continue on behalf of Andhra, apologising for being emotional and frustrated for not being selected in the Indian team, as he was not given the NOC.
“The parents of the players have brought it to the attention of the association many times that the local players are losing opportunities due to players coming and going of the team. But keeping in mind Vihari’s experience, the team management kept him. However, it is unfortunate that Vihari is making false accusations on social media platforms.”
“Hanuma Vihari has alleged that despite all the players in the team supporting him to continue as the captain, he was removed. In this regard, the concerned players have complained to the Andhra Cricket Association against Vihari.

“Some players have complained to the Andhra Cricket Association that they were forced to sign under threats. Andhra Cricket Association will thoroughly investigate all the complaints received and report the facts to the BCCI,” said ACA, as per the report.
The report further quoted the ACA saying that Vihari was making a class difference in the Andhra team. “Moreover, players had previously complained to the Andhra Team Managers Association that Vihari used foul language and misbehaved with fellow players during the Syed Mushtaq Ali tournament. It was stated that due to the behaviour of Hanuma Vihari, there was a class difference in the team.
“In January 2024, after the first Ranji Trophy match, ACA Senior Selection Committee Chairman, Vasireddy Chandramouli Prasad Chaudhary, sent an e-mail to the Andhra Cricket Association, proposing a new captain following complaints about Vihari’s form.
“In response to this, Vihari also sent a mail to Andhra Cricket Association saying that he will abide by the decision taken by the selection committee one hundred percent. Andhra Cricket Association did not interfere in this matter. The decision making authority is entirely taken by the selection committee.”
“It is very unfortunate that some political parties and their leaders criticise the prestigious Andhra Cricket Association on the basis of Vihari’s allegations on social media…” ACA said.
Vihari, who last played Tests for India against England at Birmingham in July 2022, began his domestic cricket career with Hyderabad in 2010 and played for the side until the 2015/16 season. He later returned to play for Hyderabad in the 2021/22 season, before moving back to Andhra for the next season.
(With IANS inputs)


Source link