The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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New twist in bribery scandal

New Delhi: The bribe-for-selection controversy is just not dying down. It is getting murkier with each passing day.

A young Uttar Pradesh cricketer on Sunday added fuel to the fire when he accused state selectors of demanding money for a place in the under-17 team for the Vijay Merchant Trophy.

Later, Hyderabad allrounder Vanka Prathap found an ally in left-arm spinner Pavan Kumar who said that the practice of “taking bribe” was prevalent in the Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) even as the beleaguered state outfit called an emergency meeting.

Prathap had alleged on Saturday that a mediator on behalf of a national selector had approached him and asked him to pay money for a place in the India A team.

“I extend my support to Prathap and agree with his revelations. Though I cannot tell the names at this juncture, the practice of taking bribe prevails in HCA,” Kumar said.

“I am coming out in the open to save the generation from frustration. Youngsters get frustrated when they do not make it to the squad despite good performance and will be immensely displeased to see other lower ranked players making it to the big league.”

Ritesh Yadav, the Uttar Pradesh youngster, was more forthcoming. “They asked me to pay Rs 50,000. When I said I can’t, they said ‘thank you. You may go,’” Yadav said.

He said he had drawn the attention of the BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya too. “When I gave this in writing to Dalmiya, he assured me that he would look into the matter. But now it seems no action was taken,” Yadav said.

[Dalmiya, when contacted in Calcutta, said he had not received any complaint from anybody by the name of Ritesh Yadav.

The Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association secretary Jyoti Bajpai said he was yet to receive any complaint in this regard.

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