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India News – Hanuma Vihari commits to Andhra after ‘full assurance’ from Telugu Desam Party minister

After publicly declaring earlier this year that he would “not play for Andhra again”, India Test batsman Hanuma Vihari is set to rejoin the club ahead of the upcoming domestic season. This after the confirmation of the full support of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), which is the new ruling party in the government.

Earlier this month, Vihari was given the long-awaited non-refusal certificate by the Andhra Cricket Association (ACA). This followed a long public controversy after their 2023-24 Ranji Trophy campaign. At the time, Vihari had said he was “humiliated and ashamed” of the treatment meted out to him by certain groups in the organization. He blamed “political interference” as one of the reasons why he stepped down as captain at the start of the season.

However, on Monday, Vihari held meetings with TDP officials before confirming his move.

“I am very happy to meet minister Nara Lokesh gaaru [TDP general secretary] today, and he has assured me that I will have full support if I return to the Andhra Cricket Association,” Vihari told the media. “I am very happy to meet him, and I got full assurance after meeting him. I understand his aspirations for the Andhra Cricket Association.

“It’s good to be back in Andhra cricket. What I went through in the last few years was a huge disappointment. I lost my self-respect. I wanted to leave the Andhra Cricket Association and go to another state, but now I’ve got confirmation. So I’m looking forward to coming back and working for Andhra for a long time to come. .

Vihari’s U-turn, however, has left the Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association (MPCA) fuming, with association insiders unhappy about being kept in the dark about the development. He was in talks to play for Madhya Pradesh last year, but the move fell through with neither team giving any reason.

ESPNcricinfo understands that Vihari’s contract as a professional with the MPCA was formalized after he held talks with Chandrakant Pandit, the MPCA’s director of cricket, over the matter.

Vihari, 30, played the most recent of 16 Tests in July 2022. He scored 839 runs at an average of 33.56 for India, with his first century coming against the West Indies in 2019.

After starting his career with Hyderabad in 2010-11, Vihari moved to Andhra in 2015-16. He then made a brief return to Hyderabad ahead of the 2021-22 season before moving to Andhra again.

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