The Indian National Cricket team have seen many player-related controversies, but the embarrassment faced by Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul sent back from an overseas tour – is only the second such instance in 82 years. Meanwhile, way back in 1936, the erstwhile captain Maharaja of Vizianagaramlegendary had sent Lala Amarnath back from India’s tour of England for alleged insubordination during a first-class game.
However, Lala Amarnath’s tiff with Vizzy was more to do with team politics, and the general belief was that the ruler of a princely state under British India got captaincy because of entitlement and not ability. According to the book, Lala Amarnath: Life and Times, written by his youngest son Rajinder Amarnath, his father was a victim of a canard.
“Many of the squad, including Vizzy and Major Jack Brittain-Jones, the manager, did not speak Punjabi, but versions of the story spread. Amarnath was sent for and handed a letter signed by several team-mates demanding action. Jones told him he had to return home,” the book said.
There has been another incident of an Indian player coming back midway but unlike this time, Navjot Sidhu left the 1996 tour of England on his own after a heated exchange with skipper Mohammed Azharuddin.
XHe left without informing anyone, making the way for Sidhu’s roommate to make his Test debut. That roommate was Sourav Ganguly and the venue was Lord’s, where he scored a debut hundred, and the rest, as they say, is history. While Ganguly seized the opportunity, Sidhu did come back and played two more years for India.