New Delhi: BCCI sent a strong message to the players by dropping off-spinner K Gowtham from India A’s squad after he reportedly skipped Duleep Trophy to play in the Karnataka Premiere League.
The 28-year-old has been replaced by leg-spinner Karn Sharma in the India A squad that is slated to play two four day games and five one day matches against New Zealand A starting from September 23.
Gowtham, who was a part of the India Red team, chose to play for the Belagavi Panthers in the KPL. The Karnataka cricketer cited health issues for his unavailability in the Duleep fixture against India Blue. Surprisingly, he was seen taking the field in KPL within 2 days.
Reacting strongly, BCCI has set up an enquiry into Gowtham’s sudden decision to give Duleep Trophy a miss.
“Gowtham opted out of the Duleep Trophy game during the first match and even produced a medical certificate that he was unwell. Two days later, he was found playing in the Karnataka Premier League. This is gross insult to the system. A player can't take a national-level tournament for granted like this. The board is looking into this incident and till the enquiry is over, he will not be picked for India A team," BCCI CEO Rahul Johri told TOI.
Interestingly, Gowtham is not the only cricketer to pick KPL over Duleep, India Test cricketer and Gowtham’s Karnataka teammate Karun Nair has done something similar. However, BCCI is yet to take any action against the middle order batsman as he reportedly took permission from the board.
The Duleep Trophy is facing an identity crisis right from the onset with issues ranging from it not being included in the initial fixture to player unavailability. The final of will be played in Lucknow from September 25.