Uncertainty hangs over the Delhi District Cricket Association (DDCA) as the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s November 17 deadline for furnishing clearances for hosting the fourth India-South Africa Test nears. On Thursday, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government set up a three-member committee to probe the alleged irregularities in the DDCA, after cricket veterans made serious allegations against the association. Delhi captain Gautam Gambhir also met chief minister Arvind Kerjriwal on Thursday morning, raising concerns over the affairs of the DDCA.
“Some serious complaints have been received in the office of the Chief Minister regarding financial irregularities and wrong-doings against the DDCA, some of its officials and members. The Delhi government has decided to set-up a committee to inquire into the complaints filed by some former cricketers, who have represented India for years at the international level,” a government official said.
Deputy CM Manish Sisodia ordered setting up of the committee consisting of Chetan B Sanghi, secretary Public Works Department and Urban Development, Punya Srivastava, secretary education and sports and Rahul Mehra, senior standing counsel for the Delhi government. Sisodia asked the committee to submit a report within three days.
While several questions were raised on the fate of the upcoming final Test against South Africa, the Delhi government decided against commenting on the issue.
“The Delhi government makes it clear that the national capital should not be deprived of good and international quality cricket. At this time, the government would refrain from commenting about conjectures on the capability of the DDCA in hosting the Test match between India and South Africa next month,” the government said in a statement issued on Thursday evening.
The committee has been asked to submit a summary of the irregularities or wrong-doings, if any, in the DDCA. The government has also asked the committee to suggest ways to revamp the DDCA to promote cricket in the national capital.
“Ideally nobody would want to come in the way of an international cricket match. But the government cannot take any decision in this case unless the seriousness of these allegations is examined,” a senior government official said.
Cricket veterans including Bishan Singh Bedi, Madan Lal and former Delhi Captains Surinder Khanna and Akash Lal had first met Kejriwal on August 24 and expressed concern over the cricket administration in Delhi.
With time at a premium, the government’s three-member committee got into action on Thursday itself, meeting DDCA working president Chetan Chauhan and treasurer Ravinder Manchanda.
“The match is on,” Manchanda later said, exuding confidence. “We met the two-member panel and requested them to allow the association to host the Test. They said that the other group (Bishan Singh Bedi-led NCT) is complaining of irregularities for a long time. We said we are ready to cooperate on that front and requested that the match should take place as scheduled,” he added.