On Tuesday, Delhi U-23 cricketer Anuj Dedha was arrested late night for leading an attack on DDCA chief selector Amit Bhandari. Dedha is accused of leading 15 men who beat up Bhandari with hockey sticks for not considering him for the senior team during Delhi’s preparatory camp for the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy at Saint Stephens ground.
According to the reports of ABP news, Dedha, who had earlier fled before police reached the spot, has also confessed his crime late in the evening. Talking about the same, DCP, Nupur Prasad said, “Based on the complaint, a case has been registered and the accused and his brother Naresh were arrested.”
Bhandari sustained injuries in his ear and head and he was soon taken to Sant Paramanand Hospital at Civil Lines by his colleague Sukhvinder Singh, where he declared out of danger but the doctors decided to keep him under 24-hour observation.
Delhi & Districts Cricket Association (DDCA) president Rajat Sharma said that guilty will not be spared. He said, “The goons were pressurizing him to select a player, who had failed to get into the U-23 team on merit. Bhandari claimed that the one man also threatened him with a revolver. This is shameful that an honest selector was being prevented from performing his duties. I have been told that one person has been detained for questioning.”
Former India opener Virender Sehwag demanded strict action.
Sehwag’s tweet read: “The attack on Delhi selector Amit Bhandari for not picking a player is a new low and I am hopeful that stringent action will be taken against the culprit and adequate measures will be taken to avoid such incidents.”
The attack on Delhi selector Amit Bhandari for not picking a player is a new low and I am hopeful that stringent action will be taken against the culprit and adequate measures will be taken to avoid such incidents.
— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) February 11, 2019
Gautam Gambhir said a life ban should be handed to the guilty. He tweeted, “Disgusted to see this happen right in heart of the capital. This can’t slip under the carpet and I will personally ensure it does not. To begin with I am calling for a life ban for the player who orchestrated this attack post his non-selection.”
Disgusted to see this happen right in the heart of the Capital. This can’t slip under the carpet and I will personally ensure it doesn’t. To begin with I am calling for a life ban from all cricket for the player who orchestrated this attack post his non-selection. https://t.co/RpS6fzTcNl
— Gautam Gambhir (@GautamGambhir) February 11, 2019
Delhi’s senior team manager Shankar Saini narrated the incident.
Saini explained, “I was having my meal along with a colleague inside the tent and Bhandari along with other selectors and senior team coach Mithun Manhas was watching the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy probables’ play a trial game. A couple of men first came and went up to Bhandari. There was a heated exchange between Bhandari and the two men. They left and before we could gather our thoughts, suddenly some 15 men armed with hockey sticks, rods, and cycle chains came charging. When the other senior team players attending the trials along with us rushed to save Bhandari, they started threatening us and one of them said, “Don’t get into this or else we will shoot you. They attacked Bhandari with hockey sticks and rods as he tried to run away and he sustained a head injury.”
According to an eye witness, Dedha and his helpers chased Bhandari in front of the senior team players as the former India pacer ran for his life.
When asked who could be behind the attack, Saini said, “I was not there when these two guys came and spoke with Bhandari. He is obviously disturbed and once he gives his statement to the police, we will get to know more.”
Delhi cricket has always been surrounded with corruption charges and accusations of dubious selections at the various age-group levels have also surfaced time and again.