A day after the promising Ambati Rayudu joined the Indian Cricket League (ICL), the Hyderabad team on Friday suffered another setback with one more young player signing up for the rebel league floated by Subhash Chandra-owned Essel Group.
Alfred Abbalam, the second highest wicket-taker for the state team with 24 scalps last season, has joined the ICL, Hyderabad Cricket Association sources said.
Abbalam, 21, is also employed with Andhra Bank.
Top HCA officials put up a brave front on Thursday in the face of defection by seven of its players including the 21-year-old Rayudu, and said replacements have been found for them.
Terming the decision of the players as "improper", HCA President G Vinod said the development came as an "embarassment" and admitted that the substitutes could find it difficult to adjust.
Apart from Rayudu, Vinay Kumar, Ibrahim Khalil, IS Reddy, Anirudh Singh, Kaushik Reddy and Shashank Nag were the other players to walk out of the team.
After signing several retired players in the past few weeks, it was the first time that the ICL managed to rope in active Indian first-class cricketers for the proposed Twenty20 tournament to be held in October.