Riled-up Ambati Rayudu kicks up dust

Deccan Chronicle.

Sports, Cricket

However, they made up much later and joined forces to steer the Hyderabad senior cricket team… only just.

Ambati Rayudu

Hyderabad: The over-a-decade old fight and subsequent rivalry between Hyderabad cricketers Ambati Rayudu and Arjun Yadav is back in the open once again with the former accusing the latter of incompetence ahead of the Ranji Trophy season beginning next month.

Rayudu, who is the Hyderabad captain, has pulled out of the domestic competition and has flung a few brickbats at coach Arjun, who he says has got the position because of his father and former Hyderabad Cricket Association secretary N. Shivlal Yadav’s influence.

It was the same line of fire that had led to an ugly fight on field between Rayudu and Arjun back in 2006 during a Ranji Trophy game in Anantapur. Rayudu was playing for Andhra then, against Hyderabad which had Arjun in the ranks. Their heated exchange while Arjun was batting and a reportedly provocative Rayudu fielding close to him had led to Arjun chasing Rayudu around the ground wielding a stump that soiled the image of cricket being a gentleman’s game.

However, they made up much later and joined forces to steer the Hyderabad senior cricket team… only just.

On Saturday morning, Rayudu directed a tweet at Telangana IT Minister and the Chief Minister’s son K. T. Rama Rao, asking him to look into rampant corruption in the HCA, of which former India captain Mohammad Azharuddin is the president. “Hello sir @KTRTRS, I request u to plz look into and address the rampant corruption prevailing in HCA. Hw can Hyderabad be great when it’s cricket team is influenced by money and corrupt ppl who have numerous acb cases against them which are being swept under the carpet,” Rayudu tweeted.

One wonders why he chose to write to KTR and not the Chief Minister himself? Was this lending credence to talk that KTR pulled strings to make Azhar the HCA president at the September 27 polls? Or was it because Azhar’s panel members who swept all the six posts on the Apex Council went and met KTR at his office a day after the elections? KTR has not responded to Rayudu’s tweet so far.

HCA secretary R. Vijayanand said there was no official communique with regard to Rayudu pulling out of the Ranji Trophy season and so he could not comment. Azhar too has been incommunicado.

Among Rayudu’s grievances are not being given a free hand when it comes to selection of the playing XI, which led him to point a finger at Arjun saying he became coach after a pre-election compromise and not on merit.

Often dubbed the angry young man of Hyderabad cricket, 34-year-old Rayudu had announced his retirement from international cricket after being left out of the World Cup squad earlier this year before retracting. He had taken a potshot at selection committee chairman MSK Prasad with a sly tweet that mocked his assessment of ‘rival’ Vijay Shankar as a three-dimensional player. “Just Ordered a new set of 3d glasses to watch the world cup,” Rayudu wrote on his twitter handle.

This time around, his tweet is multi-dimensional.