Assam skipper Ramesh missing
Unhappy with Assam Cricket Association (ACA) officials, Assam opener and skipper Sadagoppan Ramesh has left the team in the middle of the East Zone Ranji One-dayers and returned to Chennai.
According to Assam players, Ramesh checked out of the team hotel after breakfast on Friday following their nine-wicket defeat to Bengal on Thursday. He had reportedly had an altercation with ACA officials, some of who wanted him to step down.
On Saturday, he reached Chennai and defended his decision to return home.
Apart from Ramesh, coach Somashetty Sharath and Sreedharan Suresh are the other imports appearing for Assam in this event.
The left-handed batsman told HT in Chennai on Saturday that he wanted to give youngsters a chance in the remainder of the one-day tournament after Assam lost the first two matches in which he was the captain.
"I stepped down to give youngsters chance to impress and boost their confidence for the next season," Ramesh said.
"Assam lost the first two matches and with no scope for qualifying for the knock-out tournament from the remaining two matches. I decided it was in the best interest to make way for a youngster."
Ramesh did not like the way Assam association secretary, Bikash Baruah, openly criticised the captain (Ramesh) and coach Sanath Kumar from Karnataka for the team's first two losses.
"Coach Sanath is upset with the public criticism. I decided that enough was enough after the secretary issued a statement to the press blaming me and coach for the defeats."
Ramesh denied he left Guwahati for home without informing anyone at the Assam cricket association. "I told Sanath and selector Rajesh Bora before leaving. It is all wrong that I went missing and did not inform anyone."
Sanath, when contacted in Guwahati, said that things were not well with the Assam Cricket Association and there was nothing wrong in Ramesh leaving the team. Sanath said that his contract with Assam ends in April 2008 and he is not interested in extending it.