Controversy Surrounds Ayush Badoni’s Exclusion as Delhi’s Struggles Continue in Ranji Trophy 2024

The Delhi team’s campaign in the Ranji Trophy 2024 has been marred by controversy as they struggle to make an impact in the tournament. After playing three games, they have managed to secure only one point, which came from a draw against Jammu and Kashmir. However, they suffered defeats against Puducherry and Madhya Pradesh, leaving them at the bottom of the points table in Elite Group D.

In their fourth match against Uttarakhand in Mohali, Delhi made a surprising decision by excluding talented batsman Ayush Badoni from the squad. Badoni, who has been going through a lean patch with scores of 2, 4, 12, 41, and 6 in the competition, was asked to stay back at the team hotel at the request of influential Delhi & District Cricket Association (DDCA) officials.

Delhi’s decision to leave Badoni out of the team did not yield the desired results, as they were bowled out for 147 in the first innings. A senior DDCA official has alleged that this move was aimed at depriving Badoni of the BCCI match fees. Moreover, there are claims of pressure to include Kshitiz Sharma in the team due to his alleged close association with a former Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) office bearer.

The situation took another peculiar turn when it was revealed that Badoni was not even allowed to watch the game from the VIP gallery at the ground. The DDCA official cited logistical reasons, such as the unavailability of nets and meal arrangements, as the rationale behind keeping Badoni at the hotel.

There is a growing perception that Badoni’s focus has wavered after his stint in the Indian Premier League (IPL). Critics suggest that had Badoni performed well, players like Kshitiz would not have had the opportunity to make it into the Ranji squad. However, with Badoni’s current form, his detractors have found ammunition to question his place in the team.

The situation has put pressure on DDCA president Rohan Jaitley, who might need to make tough decisions if Delhi fails to produce a positive result in their ongoing match against Uttarakhand. Kshitiz, who is considered a decent club-level cricketer, was dismissed for eight in the first innings, raising further questions about the team’s selection decisions.

As the Ranji Trophy 2024 unfolds, the controversy surrounding Ayush Badoni’s exclusion and Delhi’s poor performance has added an intriguing layer to the tournament. The coming days will be crucial for both Badoni and the Delhi team as they seek to overcome these challenges and make their mark in the competition.

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