Delhi Cricket has always been in the headlines with officials and players involved in a controversy, but this time things went out of hand after former Delhi cricketer and India pacer Amit Bhandari was seriously attacked by a group of men led by a Delhi Under-23 cricketer Anuj Dedha. The incident occurred on Monday morning, when Bhandari, who is currently the selector for Delhi, was watching the senior team’s practice match at St. Stephen’s College grounds. The goons came with rods and a hockey stick and attacked him.
Dedha was part of 56-probable for the Under-23 side announced by the Delhi and Districts Cricket Association (DDCA) on January 28, but could not make the cut on the basis of merit. Bhandari, who played two ODIs for India, sustained head and ear injuries and was taken to Sant Paramanand Hospital at Civil Lines by his colleague Sukhvinder Singh.
According to reports in CricketNext, Bhandari needed six stitches to his head and has also fractured his leg. The player along with one of the attackers have been detained by Delhi Police while the other attackers are currently being searched.
DDCA president Rajat Sharma said immediate action will be taken following the incident. Speaking to PTI Sharma told “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 probable list for the National U-23 tournament. The SHO from the local police station has reached St Stephen’s ground and I have personally spoken to Delhi Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik. The guilty will not go unpunished. I promise exemplary action against whoever is found involved. We will register an FIR”.
Delhi’s senior and U-23 team manager Shankar Saini also narrated the incident to PTI, saying, “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 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 boys 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 hit Bhandari with hockey sticks and rods and he sustained a head injury,” the former Delhi seamer added.