This was the question on everyone’s lips on Friday, after Mumbai, missing both their current India players badly, suffered a humiliating ten-wicket defeat against an unfancied team, inside three days.
Interestingly, pacer Shardul Thakur, who was part of India’s squad against West Indies, turned up for the Railways game, while Dube did not play the last two games of the WI series. Naturally, former Mumbai cricketers were livid with Iyer and Dube for not turning up for Mumbai even when they weren’t playing for the Indian team.
“Mumbai team ni mast dabba ghatla (Mumbai team put out a very poor show. Very poor from the team. Disappointed to see @ ShreyasIyer15 & @IamShivam-Dube not being a part of the Mumbai set up for this game when the international game is 5 days away. Would like to see the best team playing when possible. #RanjiTrophy,” tweeted ex-India batsman Vinod Kambli.
Mumbai team ni मस्त डब्बा घातला। Very poor from the team. Disappointed to see @ShreyasIyer15 & @IamShivamDube not… https://t.co/AxUld9ApJZ
— VINOD KAMBLI (@vinodkambli349) 1577437737000
“Why are @ShreyasIyer15 #shivamdube not turning up for Mumbai in the Ranji Trophy? Have they been asked to rest? @ RaviShastriOfc,” wondered former Mumbai opener Shishir Hattangadi.
Why are @ShreyasIyer15 #shivamdube not turning up for Mumbai in the Ranji Trophy? Have they been asked to rest? @RaviShastriOfc
— shishir hattangadi (@shishhattangadi) 1577429725000
The Mumbai Cricket Association too hasn’t taken too kindly to Iyer and Dube’s absence from this outing. Both may end up falling in trouble for their no-show. Though they are unavailable for Mumbai from the next match onwards (against Karnataka at MCA’s BKC ground from January 3) owing to India duties, the MCA selectors may be asked to not pick them in future till they explain their decision.
“It’s an unfortunate episode for Mumbai cricket. They told us that they had been ‘advised rest’ by the BCCI. However, when we checked with the selectors, we were told that there was no such instruction sent out to them from the selectors, at least. So, who asked them to rest? The physio of the Indian or the trainer? Or did they choose to rest themselves and fired from the Board’s shoulder? This is something that no one in the MCA, including the selectors, has appreciated. This issue will surely be discussed in the next Apex Council meeting of the association. We may take some sort of action soon,” a top MCA official told TOI on Friday.
Another MCA official lamented how playing in the Ranji Trophy wasn’t a top priority for many Mumbai stars now. “Eknath Solkar went from the crematorium, after his father had expired, to the Brabourne Stadium and won Mumbai the Ranji final. Sudhakar Adhikari got married at 9.03 am and then rushed to Brabourne stadium, scored a hundred, and went back to the reception hall in the evening to celebrate with his teammates. Today’s youngsters just don’t have the same kind of commitment towards Mumbai,” he fumed.