Navjot Sidhu famously left India's tour of England in 1996 citing difference with his captain Mohammad Azharuddin. (Getty Images)
New Delhi: Tuesday in cricket was dominated by news emanating from India where four current members of the touring Australia part were removed from the squad for this week's third Test, following by the pullout of Shane Watson hours later. In the aftermath of Watson's withdrawal ahead of the Mohali Test, we take a look at other instances in cricket's history when players abruptly pulled out of tours.
Navjot Singh Sidhu, India tour of England, 1996
Sidhu, the former India opener, walked out of the 1996 tour of England because of differences with skipper Mohammad Azharuddin. Though no specific reason has ever been given for Sidhu's abandonment, former BCCI president Jaywant Lele claimed in his 2011 autobiography that Sidhu quit the tour because he thought Azharuddin was constantly abusing him.
A report from the Independent in June 1996 states: "As India's preparation for Edgbaston ended in a watery abandonment at Leicester yesterday, Azharuddin chose the moment to state his position in the wake of the "unnecessary controversy" caused by Sidhu's decision to return home after being dropped from the third Texaco game. He denied a story in circulation that he had laughed at the 33-year-old opener, a veteran of 36 Tests, causing him to be humiliated in front of his team- mates. In turn, he criticised Sidhu for announcing his retirement in bad grace.
He said his decision to drop Sidhu had been taken "on cricketing grounds by all four members of the selection committee". "Sidhu was informed prior to the game that he was being dropped," he added. This was in response to a suggestion that Sidhu was unaware of his omission until he was padding up in the Old Trafford dressing room."
Marcus Trescothick, England tour of India, 2006/tour of Australia, 2007
On February 25, 2006 England's preparations for the series were hit by news that Trescothick would return home for 'personal reasons'. At the time there were several possible explanations given in hushed tones, one of which suggested Trescothick had suspicions about his wife's fidelity, but the media was respectful of the England camp's request to respect the batsman's privacy.
Weeks later, Trescothick cryptically told Sky Sports News that he had returned home from India because of a viral infection but did not divulge any details. He added that personal factors and spending time away from his family had influenced his decision, but it was not until September 2007 that Trescothick opened up about the depressive illness which he had been suffering from for a long time. Later that year, Trescothick pulled out of the Ashes less than two weeks into the tour of Australia with a recurrence of his illness.
Muttiah Muralitharan, Sri Lanka tour of England, 2006
In the summer of 2006, offspinner Muralitharan left Sri Lanka's tour of England for family reasons. Muralitharan had played a major role in the drawn Test series with 24 wickets at 16.87 before he flew out after ahead of the third ODI. A team spokesman said: "He has already left [the team hotel] and is flying out tomorrow. His child is not well. At the moment we really don't know what the situation is. We hope to find out more."
Brad Haddin, Australia tour of the West Indies, 2008
News that Australian wicketkeeper Haddin had on March 16 pulled out of the Caribbean tour citing personal reasons came from a tweet from Cricket Australia's Twitter handle: "Brad Haddin is returning home from Windies for personal reasons. There will no further comment from him or on his behalf."
No further explanation was given about the 34-year-old's withdrawal from the tour. Haddin at the time was set the five-match ODI series after losing his place to Matthew Wade, but he was expected to play in the Tests.
A week later, Haddin confirmed that he would not return to the West Indies owing to family reasons. Again, all CA released was a statement that read: "Cricket Australia fully supports Brad's decision to remain in Australia and sends its best wishes to him and his family."