Former India pacer Amit Bhandari, who is chairman of the Delhi and District Cricket Association senior selection committee, was on Monday assaulted by a group of unidentified men during the Under-23 team’s trials at St Stephen’s ground, reported PTI.
Bhandari sustained head and ear injuries and was taken to Sant Paramanand Hospital at Civil Lines by his colleague Sukhvinder Singh, after he alleged perpetrators fled the spot before the police could reach, added the report.
UDPATE: It has been learnt that Bhandari has alleged that an U-23 state team aspirant Anuj Dedha was behind the attack after being rejected for the National (U-23) One-dayers.
“This boy Anuj was pestering Bhandari for some time and he was clearly told that he is not good enough. And today, his hired goons stopped senior team’s training session and assaulted Bhandari,” an eye witness told PTI on the condition of anonymity.
Dedha’s name featured in the initial 79-member list, released by the DDCA in November for the U-23 trials. As per the probables list accessed by PTI, his date of birth is November 22, 1995.
DDCA president Rajat Sharma told the news agency that the incident could be over the non-selection of a player.
“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 probables list for the National U-23 tournament.
“The SHO (Station House Officer) from the local police station has reached the Stephen’s ground and I have personally spoken to the Delhi Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik. The guilty will not go unpunished. I promise exemplary action against whoever is found involved in this misdeed. We will register an FIR,” Sharma added.
Delhi’s senior and U-23 team manager Shankar Saini narrated the incident as follows, per the PTI report:
“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.
“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 head injury.”— Shankar Saini , former Delhi seamer
When asked who could be behind the attack, Saini said, “I was not there when these two guys came and spoke with Bhandari. He is obviously rattled and once he gives his statement to the police, we will get to know more.”