Sanjay Bhardwaj fires fresh salvo at DDCA chief

Former first-class cricketer Sanjay Bhardwaj on Saturday launched a blistering attack on the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) president Rajat Sharma accusing him of working in a “dictatorial” fashion.

Rajat Sharma was elected to the post on July 2 following his victory over former India all-rounder Madan Lal.   -  PTI

Former first-class cricketer Sanjay Bhardwaj on Saturday launched a blistering attack on the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) president Rajat Sharma accusing him of working in a “dictatorial” fashion.

Bhardwaj, who is an elected member of the DDCA Executive Committee, claimed that, “Mr. Sharma had disregarded my contribution to Delhi cricket as a player and kept me away from the affairs of the DDCA. He has accommodated relatives of some tainted officials of the previous DDCA regime.”

Sharma, anticipating the opposition following repeated mails to him from Bhardwaj, had clarified on Friday that “all decisions had been taken in a transparent and democratic manner. The decisions, in the interest of Delhi cricket, had the backing of 13 of the 15 members of the EC.”

Irked at being sidelines by Sharma and not finding a place in any of the committees formed by the EC, Bhardwaj said, “The DDCA president has disregarded the Lodha reforms by forming a Cricket Committee which has members with conflict of interest issues.” He was referring to Virender Sehwag, Aakash Chopra and Rahul Sanghvi, who, according to Bhardwaj, had conflict of interest in picking the selectors and coaches for the forthcoming season.

Incidentally, it is the presence of Gautam Gambhir which has caused a turmoil in the Cricket Committee. “Gambhir is still playing competitive cricket. At least he has not announced his retirement,” said Bhardwaj.

Bhardwaj also raised objections to the Cricket Committee picking Amit Bhandari, Rajat Bhatia, Sukhvinder Singh, Parvinder Awana, Siddharth Sahib Singh and Mayank Tehlan as senior and junior selectors. “They don’t meet the eligibility criteria according to Lodha reforms,” insisted Bhardwaj. He also demanded an emergency meeting of the EC to discuss the issues.

Sharma was elected to the post on July 2 following his victory over former India all-rounder Madan Lal. “We want to give better facilities and respect to the DDCA members and Delhi cricketers. To players, I want to assure that there will be absolute transparency in selections on merit and no favouritism. We are an open book and open to all questions from any quarters,” he had remarked on the day of his election.

Bhardwaj also released copies of his communication with Sharma and his complaint to the DDCA Ombudsman Badar Durrez Ahmed. In response to Bhardwaj’s complaints, Sharma had responded, “As far as you running the cricketing affairs is concerned, Lodha Committee recommendation is absolutely clear that office-bearers/Executive Committee members cannot be in any Cricket Committee. I look forward to working amicably with you as part of the EC for the betterment of DDCA and cricket in Delhi.”