Faced with a players' revolt, the Delhi Ranji team started its preparatory camp for the upcoming domestic season without seven players but officials insisted that unrest against the DDCA was not the reason for their absence.
After Virender Sehwag's outburst against "nepotism and corruption" in the Delhi District and Cricket association (DDCA), seven players including pacer Ishant Sharma and opener Gautam Gambhir skipped the opening day of the camp.
However, DDCA Vice-President and Selection Committee chairman Chetan Chauhan insisted that the players were absent because of other engagements.
"All the players are here and those who are not, have informed me about their engagements. Gambhir and (Ashish) Nehra have told me that they would join tomorrow," he said.
"Sehwag is in Kochi for an ad shoot, while a couple of others are playing in England," he added.
Apart from the revolting quartet of Sehwag, Ishant, Gambhir and Nehra, others missing from the camp were Rajat Bhatia, Mithun Manhas and Chaitanya Anand.
Sehwag, who has threatened to quit the Delhi team for Haryana, is likely to meet DDCA President Arun Jaitley on August 26 or 27 and officials said a resolution would be worked out.
"Everything will be sorted out when Jaitley meets Sehwag. There is no question of DDCA letting these players go. They are world-class players. Jaitley is in Shimla right now but he has been briefed about the situation," a DDCA source told PTI.
Delhi coach Vijay Dahiya sought to play down the issue.
"The players are happy. It was a good first practice session and everyone enjoyed it. We are looking forward to a good season ahead," he said.
Sehwag has alleged that the selection process in the Delhi team is manipulated by the all-powerful Sports Committee. He has received support from other senior players like Gambhir, Ishant and Nehra on the issue.Listen to podcast