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Friday, Oct 18, 2019

Don’t agree with MSK Prasad: Azharuddin on chief selector’s comment on Rayudu’s exclusion

Rayudu was overlooked in place of all-rounder Vijay Shankar in the initial 15-member squad and when the ‘Men in Blue’ suffered injuries during the campaign, the right-hander was snubbed by selectors again.

cricket Updated: Jul 24, 2019 09:11 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
File image of former India cricketer Ambati Rayudu.
File image of former India cricketer Ambati Rayudu.(Getty Images)

Former India captain Mohammad Azharuddin hit out at the treatment of former cricketer Ambati Rayudu after the latter called time on his career after not being selected in India’s World Cup squad. Rayudu was overlooked in place of all-rounder Vijay Shankar in the initial 15-member squad and when the ‘Men in Blue’ suffered injuries during the campaign in England and Wales, the right-hander was snubbed by selectors again in favour of Mayank Agarwal, despite being on the stand-by list.

Also Read: Shubman Gill reacts after not getting picked for Windies tour

Rayudu subsequently announced retirement from all forms of the game and Azharuddin has now spoken regarding the issue. The former India skipper stated that whenever a player is asked to be on the stand-by list for any tournament, he should be picked in case of an injury, regardless of what the coach or captain wants.

“When a person is standing by, I feel the standby person should be picked, if any replacement is needed,” Azharuddin was quoted as saying by Deccan Chronicle. “If you are a selector, you can overrule captain and coach.”

“You can put your foot down and say, ‘no, we will send this player’. When I was captain, I also wanted some players but the selectors said no. It happens. You are not selected, it is very sad. It happened like that. But, his (Prasad’s) explanation, I don’t agree with it,” he added.

Rayudu, who was till January being touted as India’s No 4 for the World Cup, lost the spot to Tamil Nadu all-rounder Shankar, who was termed as a “three dimensional player” by Prasad.

Also Read: Nasser Hussain picks England XI for first Ashes Test

This led to Rayudu’s cryptic tweet: “Just Ordered a new set of 3d glasses to watch the world cup” which was certainly directed at the selection committee and widely believed to be the reason behind Rishabh Pant and Mayank Agarwal’s inclusion as replacements.

“It was a lovely tweet. Very timely one. I really enjoyed the tweet. It was fantastic. I don’t know how it struck him,” chief selector MSK Prasad’s answer had everyone laughing when asked about Rayudu’s tweet.

However he wanted to clear the air that Rayudu couldn’t be included purely because of the permutations and combinations and the selection committee didn’t resort to any favouritism.

“How much emotions anybody (Rayudu) has gone through, the the selection committee has gone through the same emotions,” Prasad said.

Also Read: Harbhajan Singh trolls Pakistan, others post Chandrayaan-2 launch

“When we pick any player and he does well, we feel so happy for him. Similarly when somebody who goes out in this way, the selection committee also feels for it. But having said that, with regards to the decision taken, it has been completely devoid of any bias or any favouritism into why we have picked Vijay Shankar, Rishabh Pant or Mayank Agarwal also,” the former stumper said in his committee’s defence.

First Published: Jul 23, 2019 15:02 IST

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