India shaken by Sidhu's retirement

India's tour, which thanks to the desperate weather and their performances in the Texaco Trophy has yet really to get going, was hit again yesterday when Navjot Sidhu, pencilled in to open in the Tests, suddenly announced his retirement from the game.

Sidhu, 32, who averages 40.13 in Tests, was dropped for the final Texaco game, a decision which it is believed has especially angered him, although he declined to elaborate yesterday. "My dignity would be compromised if I carried on with this Indian team," was his only comment.

Sandip Patil, the Indian team manager, said he would be making strenuous efforts to persuade Sidhu to change his mind. "I'm sad because there is a lot of cricket left in him. He is a quiet guy, who is well regarded. We also need him more now because we are not performing particularly well."

He denied, though, that a fall-out between the tour management and Sidhu had contributed to their Texaco defeats.