Sanju Samson is among 13 players who have been punished by the Kerala Cricket Association (KCA) for dissent against captain Sachin Baby through a signature campaign. Five of the players have been suspended for three matches, while eight have been fined the equivalent of BCCI match fees for three one-day games.
The five players who are suspended are Raiphi Gomez, Sandeep Warrier, Rohan Prem, KM Asif and Mohammed Azharuddeen. The other eight players are Sanju Samson, Abhishek Mohan, Akshay K C, Fabid Farook Ahmed, Nidheesh M D, Salman Nizar, Sijomon Joseph and V.A. Jagadeesh.
According to reports, the players had written a letter to the KCA during a recent visit by a Kerala side to Sri Lanka in June. The players clearly stated that they were not happy with Baby’s captaincy. However, they didn’t discuss the issue with Baby or the manager on tour, and instead went directly to the KCA.
Board secretary Sreejith Nair said that the matter became a big issue when the players directly approached the association.
“Actually some senior players were behind this move. They planned this and juniors signed the complaint as per directions of seniors. The main allegations raised by them was the captain was arrogant to players, he took the credit when team wins and put [blame] on others when team loses… he created division in team etc,” Nair told Cricbuzz.
The KCA held an individual hearing with all the accused players earlier this month (August 11) before issuing a show cause notice to get replies from the players.
On Thursday (August 30), the association held another meeting before deciding to punish the players.
“During the preliminary enquiry, all players failed to establish the same [accusations],” Nair said.
The fees collected by all the players will go to the Chief Minister’s Distress Relief fund. The players have to remit the amount by September 15, and submit proof that they have done so to the KCA. The KCA also stated that such action would draw stern action in future.
Meanwhile, the suspended players will miss Kerala’s first three matches in the Vijay Hazare Trophy. Kerala are in Group B, and their first three games are against Chhattisgarh (September 19), Hyderabad (September 20) and Odisha (September 23).