Updated February 28th, 2024 at 11:07 IST

Hanuma Vihari resignation: Political interference claims dismissed by the ACA

The Andhra Cricket Association released an extensive statement regarding the situation following the public revelation of the whole Hanuma Vihari event.

Hanuma Vihari | Image:PTI
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After Hanuma Vihari sparked a major debate over the captaincy dispute, his remarks over social media caused a furor in the cricket-verse. Vihari was the skipper for Andhra's Ranji cricket team, but a controversy regarding his clash with the team's 17th man and accused him to involve political influence. After the incident was brought to light, the Andhra Cricket Association sent out a thorough statement over the scenario, in which they have dismissed Vihari's allegations.

Political interference claims dismissed by ACA in public statement

The Andhra Cricket Association (ACA) responded to Hanuma Vihari's captaincy dispute following controversial remarks made by the Ranji player on social media. Dismissing the allegations leveled against the ACA, the association issued a press release discouraging public controversies and emphasizing the importance of maintaining a positive and professional atmosphere within the team.

The ACA in the press note said:

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Cricket embodies values of sportsmanship and respect. Many associations across India significantly contributed to the growth of cricket, and the Andhra Cricket Association is proud to be one of them. We operate with established regulations for player conduct and management, ensuring fairness and inclusivity. We believe that prejudice and hatred have no place in this sport. We address internal challenges constructively and ensure fair and impartial decisions according to set procedures.

TO ADDRESS RECENT PUBLIC STATEMENTS MADE BY HANUMA VIHARI CONCERNING THE ANDHRA CRICKET ASSOCIATION (ACA) AND OTHER PLAYERS, WHICH HAVE BEEN MISCONSTRUED BY S.OME POLITICAL PARTIES, ACA PROVIDED THE FOLLOWING FACTS TO ENSURE TRANSPARENCY:

Hanuma Vihari has been associated with Hyderabad cricket association in various age groups since his childhood. He moved to Andhra Pradesh in 2017 to participate in the Ranji Trophy and subsequently represented the Indian team. Following this stint, he returned to Hyderabad for the 2020 season before rejoining the Andhra team. During his time with Andhra, Vihari has frequently requested a No Objection Certificate (NOC) to explore opportunities in other states, which the Andhra Cricket Association (ACA) has accommodated. However, on this occasion, Vihari was denied the NOC. Vihari had requested the Andhra Cricket Association to allow him to continue representing Andhra following his rejection in the Indian Cricket team and ended up issuing an apology, citing emotional frustration. Concerns raised by players' parents regarding the impact of such movements on local players' opportunities have been brought to the association's attention multiple times. Despite this, Vihari's experience has led the team management to retain him. It is unfortunate that Vihari has resorted to making false accusations on social media.

ACA TO CONDUCT COMPREHENSIVE INVESTIGATION; TO SUBMIT REPORT TO THE BCCI

Hanuma Vihari has claimed that despite unanimous support from his teammates to retain him as captain, he was dismissed. Consequently, certain players have lodged complaints against Hanuma Vihari with the Andhra Cricket Association. Allegations have been made that some players were intimidated into signing these complaints. The Andhra Cricket Association said it will conduct a comprehensive investigation into all the complaints received and will provide a factual report to the BCCI.

ACA: HANUMA VIHARI HAS ALSO LEVELED ACCUSATIONS AGAINST KN PRITHVIRAJ, A FELLOW PLAYER ON THE TEAM, ALLEGING HIM TO BE POLITICALLY INFLUENTIAL. THESE CLAIMS ARE ENTIRELY BASELESS

ACA: We received complaints regarding Mr. Vihari's conduct towards other players, including an incident during the Ranji match against Bengal 

KN Prithvi Raj, 17th member of the Andhra Ranji Trophy, did not secure a place in the Ranji team on one occasion. However, he has showcased commendable talent from his early years, participating in various age groups such as Under 14, Under 16, Under-19, Vinoo Mankad Trophy cricket tournament, Cooch Behar Trophy cricket tournament, Under 23, 25, and Col. C.K. Nayudu trophy cricket tournament. Prithvi also competed in the Vijay Hazare Trophy tournament in 2023. During the Ranji Trophy match against Bengal in January this year, Hanuma Vihari, then serving as the team's captain, picked an injured player to play instead of Prithviraj. However, a complaint was received alleging that Vihari publicly insulted the player during the match against Bengal, prompting the aggrieved player to lodge an official complaint with the Andhra Cricket Association.

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Furthermore, Hanuma Vihari had previously been reported to the Andhra Team Managers' Association for using inappropriate language and displaying misconduct towards fellow players during the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy tournament. It was noted that Vihari's behavior contributed to a division within the team.


ACA: FOLLOWING CONCERNS RAISED BY THE SELECTION COMMITTEE AND INTERNAL DISCUSSIONS, A CHANGE IN CAPTAINCY WAS DECIDED UPON. THIS DECISION WAS MADE INDEPENDENTLY BY THE SELECTION COMMITTEE, AND THE ASSOCIATION DID NOT INTERFERE

In January 2024, following the first Ranji Trophy match, Vasireddy Chandramouli Prasad Chaudhary, Chairman of the ACA Senior Selection Committee, sent an email to the Andhra Cricket Association recommending a new captain in the light of complaints regarding Hanuma Vihari's behavior. In response, Vihari also emailed the Andhra Cricket Association, expressing his full compliance with the decision made by the selection committee. The Andhra Cricket Association did not intervene in this matter, affirming that the decision-making authority solely rests with the selection committee.

The ACA finds it unfortunate that certain political parties and their leaders have chosen to criticize the Association based on unfounded allegations made by Hanuma Vihari on social media. The ACA respectfully urges those who seek to politicize cricket to refrain from doing so.

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Published February 28th, 2024 at 11:07 IST