Andhra Cricket Association initiates inquiry against Hanuma Vihari after senior batter accuses state body of mistreatment

Vihari accused the state body of forcing him to resign from captaincy.

Hanuma Vihari | GettyAndhra Cricket Association on Monday (February 26) announced that it has initiated an inquiry against senior batter Hanuma Vihari, who had accused the state body of forcing him to resign from captaincy at the start of the ongoing season.

The bitter spat came to light after Vihari publicly said that he would never play for Andhra due to "mistreatment" by the state association.

“Complaints were received from teammates, support staff and ACA administrators about Vihari's use of foul language and abusive behaviour. ACA will conduct a thorough inquiry into all complaints and the due course of action will be communicated,” said the ACA in a media release.

In a shocking disclosure, Vihari claimed that ACA asked him to step down as captain after he shouted at a player on the field.

The said player turned out to be the son of a politician, who allegedly influenced Vihari’s sacking as the Andhra team captain.

ACA stated that it had received a complaint from the junior player about Vihari at that time.

“It has come to our attention that Mr Vihari personally verbally abuse a specific player during the Bengal Ranji game in front of everyone. The affected player filed an official complaint with the ACA,” the release said.

Taking to social media platform X, Vihari on Monday shared the copy of his statement signed by other players in the Andhra team with a one-line caption, "The whole team knows!”

"Sad part is the association thinks that players have to listen to whatever they say and players are there because of them (association). I've decided that I'll never play for Andhra where I lost my self-respect.

"I love the team. I love the way we're growing every season but the association doesn't want us to grow," Vihari wrote on Instagram.

Hanuma Vihari, who has represented India in 16 Tests so far, had begun the season as Andhra captain but was removed from the helm after one match. Ricky Bhui was then named the captain of the side for the remainder of the season while Vihari continued as the top-order batter for the team.

At the time, Vihari had cited "personal reasons" for quitting captaincy but now the right-handed batter claimed that the association had asked him to resign.

"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.

"I was asked to resign from captaincy without any fault of mine. I never said anything on a personal note to the player," said Vihari.

On the other hand, ACA said the decision to appoint a new captain was taken keeping in mind Vihari's possible non-availability because of him being an India prospect.

The player in question, KN Prudhvi Raj, also took to social media site Instagram and refuted Vihari’s claims.

"Hello everyone! I'm that guy, you guys are searching in the comment box, whatever you guys heard is absolutely false, no one is higher than the game and my self-respect is much bigger than anything.

"Personal attacks and vulgar language are unacceptable in any kind of human platform. Everyone in the team knows what happened that day…Mr so called champion. Play this sympathy game however you want," wrote Prudhvi.

In his statement, Hanuma Vihari also expressed disappointment that the state association did not value his sacrifices for the team over the years.

"The association thought that player was more important than the guy who gave his body on the line last year and batted left-handed, took Andhra to knock outs 5 times in the last 7 years and played for India in 16 Tests.

"I felt embarrassed but the only reason I continued playing this season was because I respect the game and my team," he added.

Ahead of the 2023-2024 domestic season, it was reported that Vihar might shift his base to Madhya Pradesh but he decided to stay on with Andhra.

The ACA said it was Vihari who reversed the decision and decided to stay on with Andhra team.

(With PTI Inputs)


By Salman Anjum - 27 Feb, 2024

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