Former India [ Images ] opener Aakash Chopra, who played vital role in helping Rajasthan [ Images ] win consecutive Ranji Trophy titles, has decided to join Himachal Pradesh [ Images ] in the upcoming domestic season.
Chopra said that he could not resist a "challenging offer" from the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA).
"The offer from Himachal Pradesh was far better and also a new challenge for me. It is a new domain and I would be their captain and mentor," Chopra said.
However, according to Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA) inside sources, it was the infighting and pressure from district associations that forced his exit.
"All three professionals (Chopra, Hrishikesh Kanitkar and Rashmi Ranjan Parida) were unwilling to continue playing for Rajasthan after change in RCA regime. They had reluctantly agreed and performed to help Rajasthan emerge champions again," an insider said.
"They were overlooked for the Ranji one-dayers and that also hurt them. The Sports Act has made the 33 district associations so powerful that they pressurise in all possible fields including selections. The president of RCA, C P Joshi, has no time for cricket and the rest are toeing the RCA for their vested interests," he added.
Meanwhile, Chopra said that he had the best of two seasons with the Rajasthan side and he is definitely going to miss his former team.
"Yes, I would miss Rajasthan because the previous two seasons have been like a dream run. Starting from a scratch and climbing on to two successive titles has been like a dream come true. It was the best period of my carrier and I had enjoyed playing with the Rajasthan boys. The dressing room atmosphere was fabulous and we all were like a family," he said.