Bali to replace ?deserter? Sanghvi
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Bali to replace ?deserter? Sanghvi

There was a huge controversy over Sanghvi?s inclusion in the team at the start of the season, with Chauhan defending his selection, writes CS Luthra.

india Updated: Dec 31, 2006 01:06 IST

The Rahul Sanghvi story is getting messier by the day. He was in the team despite coach Chetan Chauhan not wanting him. On Friday, he deserted his teammates and then launched a tirade against the coach, telling a newspaper in Delhi that “he walked off from the team because it was all getting too much for him after coach Chetan Chauhan, who makes all the decisions, opted for three seamers on the Rajkot wicket.” He accused Chauhan of humiliating him and making him feel unwanted.

The Delhi side, as usual already battling one controversy after another — all of their own making — is now faced with an open rebellion from a player who most feel should not have been in the side in the first place. His godfather is believed to be the chairman of the selection committee, Atul Wasan, who now wants the circumstances of Sanghvi’s exit to be probed.

Sanghvi’s outburst has come as a shock to even his own teammates, who are currently in Vijayawada to play their penultimate Ranji Trophy group match against Andhra, starting on January 2. The team was left stunned with the sudden turn of events, especially when only two games are left in the season.

“Rahul never hinted before leaving for Delhi from Mumbai that he would not join us. In fact, he took all his tickets and told us that he would be back along with Nehra, who has stayed back in Mumbai,” said Delhi team manager DS Bawa.

There was a huge controversy over Sanghvi’s inclusion in the team at the start of the season, with Chauhan defending his selection on the grounds that they needed experience in the team.

“Rahul has left without informing the team management. If he had some problem, he should have spoken to me,” Chauhan said on Saturday. “Why didn’t he say a word at the team meeting after the last match?” Chauhan had bitter words for Wasan after the latter suggested a probe into the issue. “He’s the chairman of the selection committee and should stick to his role. The DDCA president has been informed about the issue and he will look into the matter,” said Chauhan.

Interestingly, it was only Chauhan who was in the favour of playing Sanghvi in Rajkot, while skipper Mithun Manhas was in the favour of playing Chetnya Nanda along with Suhail Sharma. The selectors have now named Abhinav Bali, a batsman who can also bowl left-arm spin, to replace Sanghvi, and he would be flown to Vijayawada only if required.

Another nightmarish journey

It was another nightmare of a journey for the Delhi players after their defeat in Rajkot. Reaching Mumbai late on Thursday night, they had to wait six hours for the next flight to Hyderabad

Then, after reaching Hyderabad, they had further wait for another nine hours for the connecting flight to Vijayawada. A few seniors decided to check into a nearby hotel, but the others had to hunt for a room as most hotels were packed. Finally, five rooms were found and the players had some much-needed rest.

First Published: Dec 31, 2006 01:06 IST