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Dumped by Ranji selectors,cricketer Lovely punctures tyres,gives up game

Ranji Trophy selection meetings bring out the worst in cricketer Navdeep Tomar aka Lovely. He was first in the news in 2006.

Written by Vinayak Padmadeo | New Delhi |
February 6, 2009 11:50:52 pm

Ranji Trophy selection meetings bring out the worst in cricketer Navdeep Tomar aka Lovely.

He was first in the news in 2006. His friends allegedly vandalised the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) office because he was not picked for the team.

This Tuesday,the verdict was the same but selectors did not take a chance. They ran inside DDCA president Arun Jaitley’s house after Tomar — angry that he was not in the squad again — demanded to know why he had been left out.

But this 25-year-old all-rounder from Fatehpur Biri village sees nothing wrong in what he has done. He told Newsline on Thursday: “I merely questioned their selection parameters when I was not considered for the Ranji one-dayers. My name wasn’t even there in the list of probables though I was called to attend the camp. Was there anything wrong in taking up the matter with them?”

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His defence was his gruff nature,which Tomar said,was constitutional. He argued: “I may have a reputation of being a badmash after what people said happened in 2006. But nothing really happened this time. I was angry and might have raised my voice but didn’t threaten the selectors. I am a Gurjjar. The way I speak may be construed as rude or threatening.”

Tomar did concede,however,that he had on Tuesday deflated the tyres of Bantu Singh’s car. Singh is a former Delhi player and selector.

“I did that out of frustration,” he said. “It was alleged that my brother and his friends had vandalised an office. If that was true,why wasn’t an FIR lodged? The police were present on Tuesday too. If I did something wrong again,why wasn’t it reported? Is my father the Prime Minister of India that I can do anything and walk away?” he asked.

Tomar changed his name to Lovely after he felt the incident three years ago had marred his chances of ever making it to the Delhi team. But he agreed that incident had scarred his name. “Changing it has not worked,” he told Newsline.

After 500 runs and 28 wickets for the Goswami Ganesh Dutt Club in the local league matches this season,Tomar was expecting a call from the state team. “I have attended the camps every year since 2006. I did not complain when I wasn’t picked in the last two years. I was told I might get a look-in this year,” he said.

Tomar has now vowed never to play in the DDCA League. He did not turn up for his club at the St Stephen’s ground on Wednesday. He said: “I should have taken this decision much earlier. It does not matter how well I perform. My goonda image is here to stay.”

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