Sanjay Bhardwaj ends hunger strike

The former first-class cricketer breaks his fast “in good spirit” at the Ferozeshah Kotla on Saturday.

Sanjay Bhardwaj breaks his fast in the presence of Rajat Sharma on Saturday.

With Sanjay Bhardwaj ending his hunger strike at the Ferozeshah Kotla on Saturday, the newly-elected Executive Committee of the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) got down to the business of finalising the administrative process for the season.

Bhardwaj, a former first-class cricketer, was protesting at being left out of decision making and had also contested the formation of the Cricket Committee. In his view, the selection of Virender Sehwag, Aakash Chopra and Rahul Sanghvi had invited scrutiny under the Conflict of Interest clause.

DDCA president Rajat Sharma took the step to assuage Bhardwaj, who broke his fast in “good spirit” to begin a new chapter. According to DDCA acting secretary Rajan Manchanda, “the move by our president was commended by the 111 Club representatives of the association.”

‘Critical phase for DDCA’

Bhardwaj, acknowledging the efforts of Sharma, said, “The differences have been buried and I have extended my co-operation. I am a cricketer first and don’t want to cause any impediments towards smooth functioning of the association.”

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Sharma had called the Club secretaries to discuss the “way forward” for the season. “It is a critical phase for the DDCA. We are committed to implement the Lodha reforms and should work together for the benefit of the game in Delhi,” he reportedly assured the gathering.

‘Pleasant atmosphere’

Manchanda claimed that by this month end all the processes would be completed. “We have set the machinery working to prioritise cricket. We would be announcing various camps and committees for the season. All stumbling blocks have been removed and there is a pleasant atmosphere at the Kotla now,” he said.

Apart from revamping the local league, the DDCA EC is focussing on introducing new measures where cricket, as Manchanda insisted, shall be the priority. “Whole hearted support from the Clubs will mean a lot for us,” added Manchanda.

Sharma also promised the Club representatives complete “transparency and harmony” in the functioning of the DDCA.