Opposition parties slam YSRCP for removal of Vihari as Andhra cricket captain

TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu and Andhra Congress president YS Sharmila termed as shameful the alleged humiliation of Vihari

Update: 2024-02-27 12:13 GMT
Vihari took to Instagram to reveal that he was asked to resign as captain of Andhra team after a run-in with a player. | File photo

Following his unceremonious removal as the captain of Andhra Pradesh cricket team, Hanuma Vihari has received support from various quarters, including the chief of key political parties in the state.

TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu and Andhra Pradesh Congress president YS Sharmila on Tuesday (February 27) termed as shameful the alleged humiliation of Vihari who decided never to play for Andhra Pradesh after he was pressured to quit as captain.

Naidu took to social media platform X and lashed out at the ruling party, stating it was a shame that even the Andhra Cricket Association has succumbed to YSRCP’s “vindictive politics”.

“Hanuma Vihari, a brilliant Indian international cricketer, has been targeted to the point where he has vowed to never play for Andhra Pradesh. Hanuma, stay strong - your integrity and commitment to the game speak volumes. These unjust actions don’t reflect the true spirit of Andhra Pradesh or our people. We stand with you, and we’ll ensure justice prevails,” tweeted the former chief minister.

The TDP also posted a picture of Naidu honouring Vihari, saying, “This is how @ncbn felicitated Hanuma Vihari several years ago when he was a budding cricketer. Compare this with the humiliation he was meted with by the YSR Congress party.”

“What could be more shameful than this,” wondered Sharmila, the sister of Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy, as she slammed the YSRCP government and demanded an impartial inquiry into the issue. “The YSRCP which is playing bad politics in everything, is now showing its wretched politics and authoritarianism in sports as well. We can't imagine to what depths these people who have destroyed the state's reputation in every way will sink,” she posted on X.

“Are these the real games being played by the YSRCP leaders who did movie stunts for two months in the name of ‘Aadudam Andhra’? Will they destroy the future and self-confidence of the players,” she asked.

Jana Sena Party chief Pawan Kalyan also took to X to extend support to the cricketer. He said, “Represented our ‘Bharath’ in 16 Test matches, scored 5 half centuries and a century. His heroics in Sydney Test against Australia is unforgettable. As Andhra Pradesh Ranji Team captain, helped Andhra Team to qualify for the knockouts 5 times in the last 7 years. From playing with a fractured hand to an injured hamstring @Hanumvihari always gave his everything for Bharath and for Andhra Pradesh in the domestic circuit.”

Kalyan hit out at the YSRCP, saying, “Andhra Pradesh Cricket Association forced Vihari to resign from the captaincy just because a YCP corporator wanted it. A local YCP politician with no cricket background is more valuable than an Indian cricketer and Andhra Pradesh Ranji Team Captain to our Andhra Cricket Association. What a shame! Mr Jagan Mohan Reddy, what is the point of spending crores of money in events like ‘Adudaam Andhra’ when the state cricket association humiliates our Andhra cricket team captain?”

“Dear @Hanumavihari garu, All Telugu cricket loving people feel pained and hurt with the treatment meted out to you by our state association and we stand with you…I hope you will play for Andhra again next year with a State Board that knows to respect and treat players with dignity,” said Kalyan. 

After Andhra Pradesh crashed to a four-run defeat against Madhya Pradesh in their Ranji Trophy quarter-final on Monday, Vihari took to Instagram to reveal that he was asked to resign as captain of Andhra team after a run-in with a player, whose father, a politician, complained to the Andhra Pradesh Cricket Association.


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