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Bedi camp cries foul

Bishan Singh Bedi

New Delhi: A host of former cricketers, led by former India captain Bishan Singh Bedi, would be pitted in a rather unequal battle against the SP Bansal-led group, when the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) goes to its proxy-dominated elections on Monday.

Despite making a lot of hue and cry during the past few days over the “corruption and nepotism” in the DDCA, Bedi, who is contesting for the post of president, has very little chance of winning against Bansal.

Known as the “dummy” candidate of the outgoing president, Arun Jaitley, Bansal should get the majority of proxy votes and is set for a thumping win.

On Sunday, the Bedi camp cried foul and alleged that Jaitley’s decision of not seeking re-election, was a complete eye wash.

“Jaitley did not file his nomination because he wanted to avoid the heat,” said one official. “Once the elections are over, Jaitley would make a comeback as a patron of DDCA. The deal has already been struck,” he added.

Though assured of a victory, the Jaitley camp is surely feeling the embarrassment of facing opposition from some of Delhi’s top cricketers.

The Bedi camp has Abbas Ali Baig, Akash Lal, Madan Lal, Kirti Azad and Surender Khanna. On Sunday evening, Jaitley held a meeting with the entire outgoing executive committee at his south Delhi residence discussing strategies about Monday’s annual general meeting.

On Monday, while Jaitley will preside over the AGM, which will be followed by elections for 16 posts at the Kotla premises, Bedi and his men would sit on a two-day dharna outside the historic ground.

“This election is not only about winning and losing,” said Bedi.

“It is our attempt to save the capital’s cricket and rescue it from the clutches of nepotism and corruption. As a cricketer, I cannot sit back and watch how these people are ruining the game in Delhi,” he added.

“We will sit in dharna and will also attend the AGM to ask some pertinent questions, which they would desperately like to avoid,” said Sameer Bahadur, a vice presidential candidate from the Bedi camp. “Let the world see how top performers of the game are treated in the capital.”

Though majority of the 4,300 votes would go to the Bansal group through proxies, the Bedi camp alleged the game in Delhi was in shambles.

“The senior team is struggling to reach the knock-out of Ranji Trophy and at the junior levels, blatant nepotism is going on for past many years.

“A total of 40 boys played in the under-25 tournament, 32 played for under-16 and 30 for under-14. Do you want to improve cricket by only obliging boys from influential families?” asked an official.