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Hyderabad face ICL blues

Lured by quick bucks, 7 Hyderabad players defy BCCI and join the rebel league, report G Krishnan and Anam Arsalan.

cricket Updated: Aug 18, 2007 18:06 IST
G Krishnan and Anam Arsalan

There was more news on the Indian Cricket League (ICL) front on Thursday, with reports of as many as seven Hyderabad Ranji Trophy players joining the rebel league.

Ambati Rayudu, Indrasekhar Reddy, P. Kaushik Reddy, Ibrahim Khaleel, D. Vinay Kumar, Anirudh Singh and Shashank Nag are the players who have signed, reportedly on Wednesday.

Sources say that former India wicketkeeper Bharat Reddy, now with the ICL, wooed the players over.

Reddy is also known as a close friend of Kapil Dev, who is chairman of the ICL executive board.

It is understood that the players were playing in the Buchi Babu tournament in Chennai when the ICL talked to them.

Soon after they had joined the breakaway league, the Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) recalled them from the Buchi Babu and sent replacements.

The replacements include Tirumalsetti Suman, Ronald Rodrigues, Abhinav Kumar, Lalith Mohan and Santosh Yadav and P.S. Niranjan.

HCA president G. Vinod confirmed to the Hindustan Times on phone that the concerned players have joined the ICL. “Yes, the news is correct, the players have joined the ICL,” Vinod said.

“But they should have informed us about it before signing. It is a serious setback to us.”

Rayudu said, “I am not supposed to be saying anything on this. I will speak when I am allowed.”

It is speculated that Rayudu’s contract is worth Rs 1.20 crore for three years. For the other six players, it is between Rs 30 lakhs and Rs 90 lakhs for three years. It is also learnt that 25% of the payment will be made initially and the rest in instalments.

This is how the events unfolded. On Wednesday in Chennai, when the HCA XI were readying for the nets ahead of Thursday’s game against Vidarbha, one of the seven ‘rebels’ told Hyderabad coach Vivek Jaisimha that they were keen to join the ICL.

“It was around 2.30 pm on Wednesday when one of the players told me about the ICL plan,” Jaisimha told the Hindustan Times from Chennai on Thursday. “We were having our nets at 4.30 pm and I guess they must have signed by 3.30 pm. I think it was just out of courtesy that they informed me.”

Asked if disciplinary action would be taken against the defectors, Vinod said, “I won’t be able to comment on this now.”