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Nara Lokesh invites Hanuma Vihari to play again for Andhra

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Amaravati, June 25 (IANS) Andhra Pradesh Cabinet minister Nara Lokesh on Tuesday invited cricketer Hanuma Vihari to play once again for the state, months after he vowed never to play for Andhra Pradesh following the alleged humiliation he faced.

After meeting Vihari on Tuesday, Lokesh said that the state government is ready to do justice to star cricketer Hanuma Vihari.

"I have invited him back to Andhra Pradesh and asked him to strive to make Telugus proud once again. He will have our full support," Lokesh posted on 'X'.

The minister for Human Resources Development (HRD), Information Technology (IT) and Electronics wrote that Vihari was subjected to political bullying, humiliated and driven out of Andhra Cricket by the earlier government.

Vihari, in his response, thanked Lokesh and assured that he would strive to take Andhra cricket forward.

"I am sure the future of Andhra cricket is in safe hands," he wrote.

Lokesh, who is the son of Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, said in a statement the people have vociferously rejected the political outfit which acted in a dictatorial manner forgetting the basic fact that political interference should not be there in sports.

The previous government had started its political game by appointing P. Sarath Chandra Reddy, who is an accused in the Delhi liquor policy case, as the president of the Andhra Pradesh Cricket Association, Lokesh said.

The TDP leader said that an outstanding and exceptional cricketer like Hanuma Vihari was harassed abysmally and was also insulted by the Andhra Cricket Association only to promote the son of their party leader, Kuntrapakam Prithviraj, who was the 17th player in the team.

"The then system too came in the way of Hanuma Vihari to train the cricket aspirants with all his talent and refused to issue No Objection Certificate (NOC) to head the cricket team of other states," Lokesh mentioned.

The minister said Vihari was issued the NOC only after the enormous victory of the NDA in the state.

"We will take all the necessary measures to encourage sportsmanship in all games and the TDP-led alliance government is ready to do justice to Hanuma Vihari as promised," Lokesh added.



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