Arun Venugopal is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo. @scarletrun
M Vijay has been left out of the Tamil Nadu side for the remainder of the Vijay Hazare Trophy after he "failed to report" to the ground for the game against Mumbai on Thursday due to "shoulder pain". The Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) made it clear in a press release that the state body, the selection committee and the team physio were unaware of Vijay's injury.
According to a top TNCA official, Vijay didn't turn up to the SSN College ground, the venue of the match, on Thursday, and informed coach Hrishikesh Kanitkar about his injury at about 7.30 am, an hour and a half before start of play. With Tamil Nadu already hamstrung by an injury to opener Abhinav Mukund, Vijay's unavailability was the last thing they needed. Ganga Sridhar Raju eventually slotted in as opener alongside Kaushik Gandhi.
A source close to Vijay said the batsman was shocked by the development and was waiting to clear the air with the TNCA.
Vijay, 33, played Tamil Nadu's first two matches against Gujarat and Goa and scored 11 and 51. He has now been replaced by batsman Pradosh Ranjan Paul for the remaining matches.
"How can we find a replacement at the last minute?" another TNCA official asked. "Vijay didn't report to the ground and neither did he inform the selectors about his injury. It was very disappointing to say the least."
Vijay was unavailable for a comment on the matter.
The TNCA is understood to have been unhappy with Vijay's "attitude" over a period of time. "This isn't the first time something like this has happened," a top TNCA official told ESPNcricinfo. "The selectors weren't even inclined towards picking him in the four-day squads [for the Ranji Trophy] in the first place because of issues with his attitude and general aloofness."
The official, however, confirmed the TNCA hadn't initiated any disciplinary proceedings yet. "At the moment it's only the decision of the selectors to not pick him," he said. "In the future, once national players confirm their availability for a tournament they have to play the full competition. They can't pick and choose matches. This issue might come up for discussion at the Executive Committee meeting of the TNCA."
India offspinner R Ashwin, who has picked up seven wickets in three matches so far, is also set to miss Tamil Nadu's fixture against Andhra on Sunday. The official, however, clarified that Ashwin had sought the permission of the TNCA in advance, and the association, in consultation with the selectors, granted his request.