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The battle between Sanju Samson and KCA intensifies

Sanju Samson India A
Sanju Samson. (Photo Source: PTI)

The Kerala Ranji Trophy team at best has managed to beat Tripura this season. Having drawn the first match against Jammu and Kashmir they lost the second to Himachal Pradesh, the next five matches ended in draws and they are out of contention for the quarter-finals. Just when it appeared that things couldn’t get worse the Kerala Cricket Association (KCA) has released injured Sanju Samson from the team.

While this looks like a pretty regulation move by the association, things aren’t quite right between the wicketkeeper-batsman and the KCA. The player having sustained a knee injury and given that he could no longer be a part of the team had requested the KCA for a No Objection Certificate to go to the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru for rehabilitation but when he did not receive a reply for it, his father Samson Vishwanath decided to ring up KCA president TC Mathew to check for an update.

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Matters were expected to improve but have taken a turn for the worst as Mathew came out and told the media that Mr Samson used abusive language while talking to him. Though it was denied by the cricketer’s father Mathew has initiated an enquiry forming a committee that has vice-president TR Balakrishnan, Sreejith Nair, S Ramesh and P Ranganathan. The committee has issued a show-cause notice to Sanju.

“He has got a problem with the association, the association has no problem with any player. He and his father, you might have read in the papers; lots of indiscipline activity from him and his father. He is not of manageable level. He has gone beyond that,” Mathew was quoted by Wisden India on Friday. “I won’t make any further comment. The association has set up a committee for enquiry. That is the normal procedure.

“He has not apologised. Yesterday, his father was in the media throughout complaining against the association,” Mathew added. “Wilfully, he was making all kind of false allegations and giving distorted facts to the press. He was doing that all day.”

Mathew further emphasized that Sanju has become unmanageable for them. “That is where we tried our level best, but now he is unmanageable,” said Mathew. “We cannot manage him. Let the wise people take the call. I am not commenting anything. Once the committee is formed, our job is over. He accused me, so I want to be fair and not partial.”

While the association has drawn its sword at the player, Kerala team along with coach Tinu Yohannan stand with Sanju. “The team is with him all throughout. The team will always be there with him, stand with him,” said Yohannan. “It’s unfortunate this has happened. It’s just a phase that he will go through and am sure he will learn a lot from this experience.”

The coach had also said that there is a lack of communication between the coach, players and the association. “Yes, (lack of communication) was an issue. That’s what happened,” added Yohannan. “Decisions should have been prompt. Because of the delay (the problem happened). He is a complete team man. He always stands with the team. Despite the injury, he chose to play for the team.”

The KCA is now expected to come hard at Sanju which is quite evident from the manner in which the entire incident has been handled and talked about. Wisden India quoted a former Kerala coach saying that in the last few years Sanju was on the wrong side, “as if they are waiting for him to fail”.

What this has done is left Sanju Samson in the middle of the water, where he is out injured and is waiting for an NOC to go to the NCA for rehabilitation while there is an enquiry initiated against him and with the president talking out in public against his father the findings of the enquiry committee wouldn’t be tough to guess.

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