Mumbai, Nov 30: Pacer Ajit Agarkar disappointed with Mumbai Cricket Association's decision to sack him ahead of the Ranji Trophy match against Orissa, returned home on Wednesday.
The 33 year old medium pacer was informed about his axing a day before the match to accomodate Aavishkar Salvi by skipper Wasim Jaffer, coach Sulakshan Kulkarni and selector Ravi Thakkar.
“They could have done it in a better way. I don"t want to blow it out of proportion. If they had made this decision, they should have told me in Mumbai and not in Cuttack at 7 pm, a day before the match. At least I"ve earned that respect after playing so many years of top-level cricket," Agarkar expressed with a pain in his voice.
The 33-year-old cricketer said he was not prepared to accept the decision, and added that he could have been informed in private, DNA reported.
Ajit Agarkar, found support from his fellow mate Zaheer Khan who came out blazing against chairman of selectors Milind Rege and coach Kulkarni, said "I am not the kind of person to say all this, but I just feel that people like Rege and Sulakshan, appointed recently are actually pulling Mumbai cricket back," Zaheer told Mid day over phone from Cuttack at the end of Day One of the four-day tie.
He further added that it was an utter disgrace and he was very disappointed and hurt by the way the whole situation had been handled. "It is high time things get sorted out. A player who has done so much for the country and state; has taken over 300 international wickets and has been consistent performer and a certainty in the team at least deserves better communication and respect. There is no reason to humiliate someone who has done great service to your team," said Zaheer from Cuttack.
Agarkar, having missed the first two Ranji matches due to an injury, remained wicket-less against Karnataka, while Mumbai conceded a first innings lead.
“It would have been easy had they informed me about my omission earlier. I wouldn"t have had to travel all the way to Cuttack. Doing this to a player who cares for Mumbai cricket or someone who has played for so many years is not right. I don"t play for money," Agarkar said being axed die to a bad performance after nursing an injury.
This episode needs to be given a lot of heed as this is not the first time, cricketers like Agarkar are treated without respect and dignity. Such cricketers who have played for the country and served the state should be given due respect and such issues need to be communicated properly by the management. This is another lesson that MCA needs to learn in the wake of its responsibilities.