Former India pacer Praveen Kumar on Monday said allegations of assault against him were an attempt to tarnish his image and driven by ‘local politics.’

The 33-year-old was accused of assault by a factory owner in Meerut. The incident allegedly took place in Multan Nagar on Saturday when one Deepak Kumar was helping his son get off a school bus. Deepak Kumar alleged that Praveen Kumar assaulted him and pushed his son as the bus was blocking the way for his car.

“It is all a lie. In fact, he tried to snatch my chain,” Praveen Kumar said. “It is a case of local politics and nothing else. I don’t even live in that area. I have two-three houses there and I had gone to see the status of paint work there.”

Praveen Kumar, who played six Tests and 68 ODIs for India, did not elaborate on what he meant by allegations being a case of ‘local politics.’

“Some people here can’t see others’ is another attempt to tarnish my image,” he said. “For someone like him it is an easy way to get some cheap publicity, defame a cricketer with fake stories and be in the news. I too have filed a complaint against him.”

The police have not yet registered a case against the cricketer as investigation into the complaint is on.

This isn’t the first time that Praveen Kumar finds himself embroiled in a controversy involving assault. In 2008, the mercurial bowler was accused of assaulting a doctor in Meerut. The alleged victim had claimed that pacer and his friends manhandled him after a minor argument.

Asked why he believes his name is dragged into incidents like these, Praveen Kumar said, “Unfortunately more people want to see you fall than to succeed. That is why you see these fake stories coming out.”

“I am happy with my life. I did commentary recently in the Syed Mushtaq Ali trophy and will be doing again in Ranji Trophy,” he added.