An arrest warrant has been issued against first-class cricketer and naval officer Deepak Punia for breaking the rules of Navy Act and playing two Ranji Trophy matches for Haryana this season without the Services Sports Promotion Board’s No-Objection Certificate, the Indian Express reported.
Punia, who was employed by the Services in 2014 and had also played for Saurashtra and Indian Premier League team Mumbai Indians, represented Haryana in the first two matches against Saurashtra and Jharkhand. The 24-year-old took three wickets, before he was issued the warrant on October 24. He hasn’t played for Haryana since then.
Punia made his first-class debut for Services against Himachal Pradesh in 2014 and was given an NOC to represent Saurashtra last season. According to the report, Services’ secretary Satyavrat Sheoran had already written to the Indian cricket board stating that Punia was using the NOC issued for the last season and hence should be asked to report to his parent department.
Explaining his side, Punia told the newspaper that he had spoken to his superiors before representing Haryana and had taken leave for the same.
“I had informed my officer that I am representing Haryana this season,” Punia was quoted as saying. “I was told that I can’t play while on duty and if I want to play for a different state, I should take leave and then play. So I submitted my application for 30 days leave, and later applied for an extension. My officers told me the extension would not be granted. I was told to return or else they would issue an arrest warrant. And then they issued an arrest warrant.”
He added, “I don’t know why this is happening. Earlier, nobody had any problem. I played two seasons for Saurashtra and was also part of Mumbai Indians. Now, suddenly they are saying that I can’t play for Haryana.”
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