Cuttack, Nov 11: Promising wicket-keeper batsman Haladhar Das who was recently made the captain of Odisha Ranji team, was axed for the entire ongoing season by Odisha Cricket Association (OCA) on disciplinary grounds.
The axe on the veteran player fell on the eve of the team's second encounter of the season against Punjab at Mohali. Team officials asked Das to return to the state and appointed Nataraj Behera to lead the side in his place. Similarly, reserve wicket keeper Subhrajit Sahu was asked to pad up to perform duties behind the stumps.
Confirming the developments, OCA secretary Asirbad Behera told newsmen here on Friday, that Das was dropped for the entire season on disciplinary grounds. Reports reaching here said that Das and two young players of the team were not available at the team's dinner table at the hotel on Wednesday evening which was mandatory on the eve of any match.
"We asked the manager to conduct a search of the rooms of the absentees and it was learnt that Das and two new players had gone out of the hotel in the evening without the permission of the manager and returned around 9.45 pm in an inebriated state", Behera said adding that action was immediately ordered against Das as he was a senior player and the captain of the team.
The two new players were let off with stringent warning, Behera said. He said that howsoever senior or important the player may be, indiscipline would not be tolerated. The OCA had dropped medium fast bowler Alok Sahu from the team to Punjab after their tie against Saurashtra here last week as the bowler was found guilty of using his cell phone during the match days.