Little more than a week after he received the NOC from the Delhi & District Cricket Association (DDCA) to play for Haryana in the upcoming domestic season, Virender Sehwag was the topic of discussion at an Executive Committee meeting held at the Feroz Shah Kotla in New Delhi on Friday.
The meeting, held at a time when the officials are eagerly awaiting results of the Sports Working Committee elections, was dominated by the Sehwag issue for the first hour. Everyone from guards to peons to caterers, had their ears glued to the ground floor of the new wing of Kotla.
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“How can you give him the NOC?” asked an official. “Why didn’t not convince Sehwag to stay on?” asked another. The meeting started taking a turn for the worse when a 30-minute break allowed the members present to calm themselves for the session ahead.
During the break, Vinod Tihara, who is likely to retain his post of the Sports Convener, confirmed that Sehwag was discussed, but added that the matter was not being stretched too far. “See, the point is whether a player like Sehwag should have been asked or convinced to stay on. Rest would have been his call, but we should have ensured to do our bit before handing him the NOC,” says Tihara.
A senior DDCA official was not pleased with the send-off given to Sehwag, who served the state for close to two decades. He said the out-of-favour India opener deserved better, with the honours DDCA promised him.
“It would have been nice had he got those 100 gold coins and a gate at the Kotla in his name. The association should have left no stone unturned in giving him the send-off he deserved,” says the official.
It is reliably learnt that the issue of the 100 gold coins promised to Sehwag were raised at the meeting, but those who called for a date for the handover were outnumbered by the others.
Sehwag’s departure from Delhi was anticipated this season, but the official reveals that the Delhi dasher’s ‘not-so-good terms’ with skipper Gautam Gambhir was one of the reasons. “Sehwag had made up his mind to move to Haryana. His relationship with Gambhir wasn’t too great either. They weren’t talking much to each other and Sehwag was not clearly happy with the state of cricketing affairs in the capital,” informs the official.
C K Khanna, DDCA & BCCI vice-president, has been accused of giving Sehwag the NOC to accommodate a player close to him in the Ranji Trophy squad.