DDCA cricket director Sanjay Bharadwaj has called off his hunger strike on Saturday evening after getting assurances from president Rajat Sharma that he would look into complaints about conflict of interest levelled against former and current players, who were part of the newly set-up panels in the state cricket unit. Sharma, who met Bharadwaj at the DDCA premises today, also convinced him that the association will prepare its new constitution before the domestic season begins and accept the Lodha Committee reforms laid down by the Supreme Court on August 21.
Bharadwaj had begun an indefinite hunger strike outside the Feroz Shah Kotla on Thursday against Sharma’s “autocratic style” of functioning and objected to his arbitrary appointments, including those who were part of the Cricket Improvement Committee, the senior and junior selection committees as well as the CEO, CFO and COO. He had also written to the ombudsman justice retired Badar Durrez Ahmed on the violation of conflict of interest norms. Saturday’s truce between the DDCA president and his director was preceded by mayhem. That’s because Sharma had apparently arrived at the Feroz Shah Kotla on Saturday afternoon to meet the secretaries of the various DDCA-affiliated clubs. However, they refused to meet him. “There is a person on hunger strike. Go and meet him and resolve that issue first,” one of the secretaries told Sharma.
It was only then that Sharma took Bharadwaj to his office, where they spoke in-depth for close to 20 minutes and amicably resolved their differences. “Yes, I have called off my hunger strike. Sharmaji came to the DDCA premises today and met me and assured me that the new constitution approved by the Supreme Court will be implemented before the cricket season begins. Apart from that, he told me that the teething conflict of interest cases against the cricketers would also be looked into. After the meeting, he offered me a glass of juice,” Bharadwaj said.
Earlier this week, the Supreme Court had asked BCCI and all state associations to amend their constitutions based on the Lodha recommendations in four weeks and also submit a compliance report to the CoA. The SC order has forced DDCA to follow suit.