Hyderabad: Around this time last year, the Indian team for the England World Cup was announced and among the notable omission was Ambati Rayudu. It was one of the unforgettable moments for this Hyderabad’s dashing batsman. Rayudu was shocked by the then MSK Prasad-led National Selection Committee’s decision to ignore him and instead include Tamil Nadu all-rounder Vijay Shankar in the team.
The selectors had further poured cold water on Rayudu’s World Cup hopes when Indian team wanted two replacements during the course of the tournament, but this Hyderabad batsman was coolly ignored and instead Rishabh Pant and Mayank Agarwal went in place of the injured Shikhar Dhawan and Vijay Shankar respectively. Rayudu was incidentally the first replacement when the Indian team was announced in April.
Prasad said then that due to certain permutations and combinations in the side, they couldn’t pick Rayudu. Prasad has since ended his term and Sunil Joshi took over as chairman of the selection committee.
All the hard work leading to the World Cup was wasted and in frustration Rayudu raised a hornet’s nest by tweeting that he ordered 3D glasses to watch the World Cup. This was apparently in reference to Prasad’s statement that referred Vijay Shankar as ‘three dimensional’.
A year has passed and was Rayudu was a victim of circumstances? According to former Hyderabad off spinner Kanwaljit Singh, it was one of the biggest blows to Rayudu’s career. “He was touted as No.4 in the run up to the World Cup. He had a very good run and suddenly he was not in the squad. It was a terrible blow. A sports person hopes to represent the country in Olympics and win glory. For any cricketer playing in a World Cup is their big dream. For Rayudu, it was a gross injustice as he one of the most experienced batsman in the team then. He would have been the ideal No.4 batsman and he lost a golden opportunity to play in the World Cup for no fault of his,’’ said Kanwaljit.
For long Rayudu remained silent on the World Cup controversy. But he admitted in an interview to Telangana Today then that he was hurt when he was not named in the squad and it took him a little while to overcome from that phase.
Rayudu said that he had worked very hard to be ready for the World Cup. “I quit red-ball cricket for the World Cup. I was extremely fit and doing the role which the team asked me to do at No.4 and suddenly when you are not in the team it was shocking.”
In an emotional moment, Rayudu quit from the game while India lost in the semifinals to New Zealand. Rayudu later on announced his comeback into first class cricket before finally saying good bye to cricket after leading Hyderabad in the T20 and one-day tournaments last year.
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