Did 'pettiness' queer captain's pitch? - JSCA calls it Tiwary's choice, but his one-upmanship with Jaggi may have cost dear

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By Jayesh Thaker
  • Published 3.01.15
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Unsporting? Saurabh Tiwary

Southpaw Saurabh Tiwary ended 2014 with a bang and a whimper, his captain's innings of an unbeaten 125 in the Ranji versus Kerala helping Jharkhand draw the match in Dhanbad on Wednesday, only to be allegedly greeted by his dismissal from captaincy once he reached the dressing room.

The 25-year-old southpaw, appointed Ranji skipper by Jharkhand State Cricket Association (JSCA) for this season, was replaced by Kumar Deobrat, a solid right-handed batsman from Bokaro.

Rajesh Verma, JSCA secretary, claimed it was Tiwary's own decision. "Tiwary told us that captaincy was affecting his batting and concentration. He wants to play purely as a batsman. Deobrat is an experienced and a talented batsman. He will lead in the rest of the five matches," Verma said.

But, the truth may be a little more complicated than that.

Sources revealed that Tiwary, in his capacity of Jharkhand captain, had upset coach V. Venkat Ram and JSCA authorities when he declared Jharkhand's second innings against Tripura, also in Dhanbad. Why? Because, team mate Ishank Jaggi was batting on 200 on December 24, the last day of that match.

"It seemed apparent that Tiwary did not want Jaggi to surpass his own score of 238 (at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai at a Ranji match earlier)," said the source.

Finding no justification for Tiwary's behaviour, he said: "Only six overs were remaining in the tie. There was no logic behind Tiwary declaring the innings at that juncture."

Upset by Tiwary's so-called pettiness, the JSCA was hunting for an opportune moment to strip his captaincy, the source added.

"Opportunity came in the match against Kerala when Tiwary failed in the first innings. Though he came up with 125 in the second, the decision to oust him was already taken."

And as Tiwary is known to be not on very good terms with mentor Venkat, the job to dislodge him was easier. A players' lobby also worked against Tiwary.

This is the second time Tiwary had to leave captaincy midway into the season. In 2010, he had quit after differences surfaced with then Ranji coach Tarit Ghosh.

Do you believe Saurabh Tiwary is capable of such sabotage?

Tell ttkhand@abpmail.com