Ronnie Hira reacts badly to Canterbury demotion

MATT RICHENS
Last updated 05:00 25/03/2013

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Black Cap Ronnie Hira may have played his last game for Canterbury this season as a punishment for poor form and rebellious off-field behaviour.

Hira was upset at being made 12th man last week and was dropped from the Wizards' squad for yesterday's 128-run loss to Auckland in Hamilton.

Hira's form in the one-day competition this season has been lacklustre and he was left out of last Wednesday's big win over Central Districts.

In seven games, largely on unhelpful wickets, Hira has taken one wicket and scored 31 runs from four innings.

The Hagley Oval pitch was seamer-friendly, and fellow Black Caps Todd Astle and Tarun Nethula were also left out of the playing XIs.

It could not be confirmed by Canterbury Cricket but a source close to the team said Hira had reacted badly to being left out. It is understood Hira did not fulfil the 12th man duties expected of him and spent part of the game with his headphones on listening to music, which did not impress his team-mates.

The Press was also told Hira refused to sing the side's victory song at the end of the game. "I don't know about that and I haven't heard that that is the case," Canterbury Cricket chief executive Lee Germon said. "The reason Ronnie isn't in the 12 is that he has not performed on or off the park.

"If you're not willing to contribute and be part of the team, then you won't be," Germon said.

Hira returned to Auckland after being dropped but that is not unusual as he and fellow Aucklander Rob Nicol often commute between games.

Germon said he expected coach Gary Stead would have a discussion with Hira today or tomorrow. Hira is available for Wednesday's semifinal.

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- The Press

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