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Cricketer not picked, Delhi selection panel boss thrashed
From the Webdesk, 12/02/2019, New Delhi

 In an unprecedented incident, former India fast bowler and now chairman of selectors for Delhi's senior and U-23 teams, Amit Bhandari, was assaulted by a group of youths with rods, bats and hockey sticks at St Stephen's College ground on Monday.

Delhi & District Cricket Association (DDCA) officials said Bhandari was attacked "for not selecting a player named Anuj Dedha" in the U-23 team. Bhandari was sitting with other selectors, watching Delhi senior team play a practice match ahead of the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament, when the group of boys assaulted him.

Anuj and his brother Naresh were arrested after security guards and some players managed to nab them. Bhandari was rushed to Sant Parmanand Hospital in Civil Lines where he received four stitches on his head, besides getting treatment for leg injuries. The attack left the former cricketer, who played two ODIs for India, severely traumatized.
Some 10 to 12 assaulters had come to the ground with a revolver, hockey sticks and iron rods. Eyewitnesses said fellow selectors Mohan Chaturvedi and Sukhvinder Singh, and team manager Shankar Saini, tried to intervene but were warned to stay out or be shot.

Bhandari tried to run away but Dedha and Naresh chased him down and started hitting him with a rod and hockey stick.

During interrogation, Dedha, a medium pacer, claimed he was dropped by Bhandari due to which he wanted to take revenge.

"We have registered a case of attempt to commit culpable homicide, criminal intimidation against the two men. Efforts are being made to track down the other culprits," said Nupur Prasad, DCP, North.

Meanwhile, Dedha's family claimed he had gone to meet Bhandari to request him for a spot in team. He was turned down by Bhandari and asked to leave. This led to an argument during which Bhandari allegedly attacked Dedha which prompted him to call his friends to intervene. The family said the first PCR call was made by Dedha himself. The player was later admitted to the Aruna Asaf Ali hospital as he too was assaulted by the security guards following the attack on Bhandari.

Amit told me that the boys were pressuring him to select a player who had failed on merit. They threatened to kill Amit and had a revolver with them. I have asked police officers to take strictest possible action against those who tried to take the life of an honest selector who was just doing his job with sincerity," Delhi & District Cricket Association (DDCA) president Rajat Sharma told TOI.

 


"He is under observation by doctors. I have assured him that DDCA is with him and we will ensure strictest possible action against those involved in the cowardly attack," Sharma added.

Delhi and surrounding a place for goons.ANANTH NARAYAN

"Since selections this year are being done strictly on merit with transparency, and selectors have resisted all pressures and monetary offers, the miscreants and manipulators are feeling frustrated. The assault on the chief selector is the result of such frustration," Sharma stated.

"This is very shocking and absolutely unpardonable. The assaulters must be caught and punished soon. Wishing Amit a speedy recovery," said BCCI acting president CK Khanna. Former India pacer Madan Lal, who too has served as a Delhi selector, put this down to the system - and its bad reputation - in Delhi cricket. "We would get calls to select a player but nothing even close to this happened. There has to be a system that will resurrect the reputation of Delhi cricket where people can't get away by pushing certain players by illegal means," Lal, who was earlier the state's chief selector, said.

 

 
 
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