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regular-article-logo Wednesday, 17 April 2024

Ranji Trophy 2024: Hanuma Vihari quits Andhra, alleges ‘political interference’

The seasoned middle-order batter, who has featured in 16 Tests, alleged in an Instagram post that he was forced to step down as captain following Andhra’s opening round fixture against Bengal in January

Our Bureau Calcutta Published 27.02.24, 08:41 AM
Hanuma Vihari

Hanuma Vihari Sourced by the Telegraph

Hanuma Vihari has vowed to “never play for Andhra” again.

His announcement came after Andhra failed to make the Ranji Trophy semi-finals, losing to Madhya Pradesh by four runs on Monday.

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The seasoned middle-order batter, who has featured in 16 Tests, alleged in an Instagram post that he was forced to step down as captain following Andhra’s opening round fixture against Bengal in January.

“I was captain in the first game against Bengal, and during the game, I shouted at 17th player, and he complained to his dad (who is a politician),” Vihari wrote. “His dad in return asked the association to take action against me. Altho­ugh we chased 410 against last year’s finalists Bengal (for a first-innings lead), I was asked to resign from captaincy without any fault of mine.

“I never said anything on a personal note to the player, but the association thought the player was more important than the guy who gave his body on the line last year and batted left-handed, took Andhra to the knockouts five times in the last seven years and played for India in 16 Tests.”

Vihari felt “humiliated and embarrassed” in the afterma­th of the episode, but carri­ed on playing under captain Ricky Bhui.

“I felt embarrassed but the only reason I continued playing this season is because I respect the game and my team. 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 until today.”

There was no comment from the Andhra Cricket Association.

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