Vihari responds to ACA show-cause notice, asks for NOC ahead of next season

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India batter Hanuma Vihari has refuted Andhra Cricket Association’s (ACA’s) claims that he hadn’t responded to a show-cause notice issued to him.

Vihari had lashed out during the 2023-24 Ranji season about political interference costing him his captaincy and that “he would never play for Andhra again”. On March 25, the ACA had sent a notice to Vihari over email, calling for an explanation of his comments. In his response, seen by ESPNcricinfo, Vihari stated he had “put out the facts” about the “unfair” treatment meted out to him.

“I want to move out and play for another team. I’ve asked ACA for a no-objection certificate. I’m awaiting a response,” Vihari told ESPNcricinfo.

On Thursday afternoon, PTI had reported that the ACA has served the notice, roughly a month after Vihari raised objections at the way he was ousted as Andhra captain, and that he hadn’t responded.

“Yes, we have served him a show-cause notice and we are awaiting his reply,” an ACA official told PTI on condition of anonymity. “This is just to find what made him react the way he did last month. He has not reached out to us, so this is a chance for him to come out with his grievances.

“After all, we value Vihari and his contributions to the growth of state cricket as he has played a big part in Andhra going up in the ranks in domestic cricket.”

On February 26, Vihari had said he would “never play for Andhra” again, saying the treatment he had received at the hands of the ACA during the 2023-24 Ranji Trophy has left him “humiliated”. He was speaking not long after Andhra had lost their quarter-final against Madhya Pradesh by just four runs.

In an Instagram post, Vihari alleged that he was forced to step down as captain following Andhra’s opening-round game against Bengal in January. At the time, he had cited “personal reasons” for the decision, but said on Saturday that the truth was that the association had taken “action” against him because of political interference.

“I was captain in the first game against Bengal, and during the game, I shouted at 17th player, and he complained to his dad (who is a politician),” Vihari wrote. “His dad in return asked the association to take action against me. Although we chased 410 against last year’s finalists Bengal [for a first-innings lead], I was asked to resign from captaincy without any fault of mine.

“I never said anything on a personal note to the player, but the association thought the player was more important than the guy who gave his body on the line last year and batted left-handed, took Andhra to the knockouts five times in the last seven years and played for India in 16 Tests.”

The ACA issued a statement later on the same day, saying there were questions around Vihari’s captaincy stint. “It has come to our attention that Mr Vihari personally verbally abused a specific player during the Bengal Ranji game in front of everyone,” the statement said. “The affected player filed an official complaint with the ACA.”

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