Delhi U-23 cricketer Anuj Dedha assaults DDCA chief selector Amit Bhandari during state trials over non-selection
New Delhi: Former India pacer Amit Bhandari, who is chairman of the DDCA senior selection committee, was on Monday assaulted by a group of henchmen led by an U-23 cricketer during the Delhi senior team's training at the St Stephen's ground.
Bhandari sustained head and ear injuries and was taken to Sant Paramanand Hospital at Civil Lines by his colleague Sukhvinder Singh. The goons fled before the cops could reach the spot.
"We are looking into the matter and a case will be registered after recording the statement of the victim," Nupur Prasad, Deputy Commissioner of Police (north) said.
Meanwhile, the key accused has been identified as Delhi cricketer Anuj Dedha, who was one of the 56 probables announced by DDCA on 28 January, according to a report on CricketNext.
"Dedha was annoyed that he has not been picked for the Under-23 side. He was threatening Bhandari for a few days now.
"But what's shocking is the way they have attacked Bhandari. We have filed a police complaint already and strict action will be taken against all of them," said DDCA member Siddharth Verma
Delhi & Districts Cricket Association (DDCA) president Rajat Sharma told PTI that guilty will not be spared.
"We are trying to procure all details of the incident. As far as I have come to know, it is regarding one disgruntled player, who didn't make it to the probables list for the National U-23 tournament.
"The SHO from the local police station has reached the Stephen's ground and I have personally spoken to the Delhi Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik. The guilty will not go unpunished. I promise exemplary action against whoever is found involved in this misdeed. We will register an FIR," Sharma said.
Sharma, who went to meet Bhandari at the hospital said: "He is very shaken and it is natural. The doctors have advised that he should be kept under observation for 24 hours as a precautionary measure."
"The goons were pressurising him to select a player, who had failed to get into the U-23 team on merit. Amit claimed that the one man also threatened him with a revolver."
Delhi's senior team manager Shankar Saini narrated the incident.
"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 match.
"A couple of men first came and went up to Bhandari. There were heated exchanges 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," Saini said.
"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 and he sustained head injury," the former Delhi seamer added.
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 rattled and once he gives his statement to the police, we will get to know more."
Delhi cricket has always been mired in corruption charges and allegations of dubious selections at the various age-group levels have also surfaced time and again.
With inputs from PTI