Bedi questions reprieve for Gambhir

Former India opener Gautam Gambhir was on Saturday handed a “suspended” sentence by Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) administrator Justice Vikramajit Sen for his outbursts against team coach K.P. Bhaskar at the end of the previous season.

Bedi: 'Gambhir has got away by abusing and misbehaving with several cricketers, umpires, match referees and support staff in the past.'   -  Getty Images

Former India captain Bishan Singh Bedi has expressed “disappointment” at Justice Vikramajit Sen handing Gautam Gambhir a suspended sentence for his act of indiscipline against the team coach K. P. Bhaskar at the end of the Vijay Hazare Cricket Tournament last March.

In a message to Justice Sen, who took the decision in his capacity as the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) Administrator and despite the Inquity Committee recommending a four-match on Gambhir starting next season, Bedi said, “We are indeed disappointed to note how the ex Delhi captain Gautam Gambhir has been first handed a four first-class match ban for his verbal spat with coach KP Bhaskar during the Vijay Hazare tournament and how thereafter he has been ‘exonerated’ by you despite a stinging report of his unprovoked verbal assault against the Delhi coach- a much respected ex cricketer himself.”

Bedi continued, “It is unfortunate to note that you, as the High Court appointed administrator, had yourself appoint a three-member inquiry committee (consisting of Madan Lal, Rajendra R Rathore and Soni Singh) who had investigated the matter and recommended the penalty, which now has been deferred to March 2019 by you.”

Pointing out the behaviour of Gambhir, Bedi said, “The Committee checked the facts, followed due process and, gave a chance to both the parties to explain their side of the story. The Committee gave a detailed report soon thereafter and held- "The Committee Members agree that considering the above facts and circumstances that have come to light, Mr. Gambhir's actions towards Mr (Bhaskar) Pillai with premeditated intent to humiliate the coach were highly inappropriate and of serious nature. It is recommended that such inappropriate behaviour requires to be penalized not only in a proportionate manner, but in a manner that has a deterrent effect so that it is not repeated and such issues are taken seriously by all team members."

Bedi added, “You first sat on the report for a good six months. Rather than follow up on the recommendation, you took the plea of IPL matches which DDCA had to organize. Rather than initiating action against Gambhir, who had been clearly held guilty, you chose to allow him to play the IPL without meting out any punishment as was warranted by the Report.”

Bedi maintained, “Since no one was ever disciplined (at the DDCA), the same people would nonchalantly breach the norms of normal discipline again and again. Gambhir himself is a classic example of a specially favoured man. He has got away by abusing and misbehaving with several cricketers, umpires, match referees and support staff in the past. He is 36, and giving him a margin or suspended sentence of two years is laughable, to say the least.”

On a concluding note, Bedi asked, “What happens to the Delhi coach, Bhaskar Pillai, who was roundly and soundly abused in front of senior players. You will never understand the coach’s position, which has been immensely compromised. In the instant case, not only has justice been delayed, it has not been delivered. We are extremely disappointed by your inaction. We expect action to be taken, in consonance with the indiscipline and in line with the Inquiry Report appointed by you.”