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"Your integrity to game speak volumes": Chandrababu Naidu after Hanuma Vihari vowed not to play for Andhra

New Delhi: Amid the ongoing controversy over Indian batter Hanuma Vihari's decision to leave the Andhra Pradesh Ranji Cricket team, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) Chief and former Chief Minister, N Chandrababu Naidu said this was an example of "Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party's (YSRCP) vindictive politics."
On Monday, Vihari announced that he will "never play for Andhra" again in domestic cricket, accusing the Andhra Cricket Association (ACA) of mistreatment that has left him "humiliated." Vihari made this revelation just after Andhra Pradesh's Ranji Trophy journey came to an end during the quarterfinals with a four-run loss to Madhya Pradesh.
Naidu took to X (formerly Twitter) to extend his support and said that he stands firmly with Vihari.
"It's a shame that even the Andhra Cricket Association has succumbed to YSRCP's vindictive politics. @Hanumavihari, a brilliant Indian international cricketer, has been targeted to the point where he has vowed to never play for Andhra Pradesh. Hanuma, stay strong - your integrity and commitment to the game speak volumes. These unjust actions don't reflect the true spirit of Andhra Pradesh or our people. We stand with you, and we'll ensure justice prevails. #WeStandWithHanuma," Naidu posted on X.
In an Instagram post on Monday, Vihari levelled the allegations that he was forced to resign as captain following Andhra's opening-round match against Bengal back in January. During that time, he had cited personal reasons for his decision but now revealed that the association had in fact acted against him because of political interference after he shouted at a player, whom he claimed was a politician's son.
The batter said that he felt "humiliated and embarrassed", but nonetheless carried on playing under the new skipper, Ricky Bhui, out of respect for the team and the sport.
"I felt embarrassed but the only reason I continued playing this season is because I respect the game and my team. The sad part is that associations think that players have to listen to whatever they say, and players are there because of them. I felt humiliated and embarrassed, but I have not expressed it until today," he concluded.

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