KCA punishes 13 players for “signature campaign” against captain

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Kerala Cricket Association on Friday (August 31) suspended five of its players while levying a fine on eight other players after it was learnt that they had shown dissent towards skipper Sachin Baby through a “signature campaign” while on tour to Sri Lanka in June. Raiphi Vincent Gomez, Sandeep S Warrier, Rohan Prem, Asif K and Mohammed Azharuddeen have been suspended for the first three one-dayers of the upcoming Vijay Hazare Trophy and they will also cop a fine equivalent to their match fees of three one-dayers.

The other eight players who have been fined are Sanju Samson, Abhishek Mohan, Akshay K C, Fabid Farook Ahmed, Nidheesh M D, Salman Nizar, Sijomon Joseph and V.A. Jagadeesh.

Cricbuzz has learnt that unrest stemmed during Kerala’s tour of Sri Lanka earlier this year, during which the players raised their concerns about Baby with the team manager. While the manager spoke to all the players and reported to the board secretary Sreejith Nair as ‘settled’, matters quickly escalated when the 13 players shot an e-mail to the association after returning from tour.

“Actually some senior players were behind this move. They planned this and juniors signed the complaint as per directions of seniors. The main allegations raised by them was the captain was arrogant to players, he took the credit when team wins and put [blame] on others when team loses… he created division in team etc,” Nair told Cricbuzz.

The state association held an individual hearing with all the accused players earlier this month (August 11) before issuing a show cause notice to get replies from the players. On Thursday (August 30), the association held another meeting before arriving at the conclusion that ” it was clearly evident that the players were involved in endangering the harmony, stability and interest of the Association and also engaged in the signature campaign against the captain.”

“During the preliminary enquiry, all players failed to establish the same [accusations],” Nair mentioned. KCA eventually concluded that it was a deliberate attempt to defame the captain and the board.

The board has now asked the players to remit the penalty amount to the Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund on or before September 15 and to submit a proof of remittance. The players have also been issued a warning that such activities in the future would draw sterner action. (Courtesy Cricbuzz)

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