Day after Navdeep Saini got India call-up for Afghanistan Test, his Delhi teammate Gautam Gambhir took a dig at former cricketers Bishan Singh Bedi and Chetan Chauhan who are Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) members. Gambhir on Tuesday wrote, in a tweet, “My ‘condolences’ to few DDCA members, @BishanBedi @ChetanChauhanCr on the selection of ‘outsider’ Navdeep Saini to India squad. Am told black armbands are available in Bangalore too for INR 225 per roll!!! Sir, just remember Navdeep is an Indian first then comes his domicile @BCCI,” on his social media handle.
Gambhir’s reply came after Bedi and Chauhan had earlier objected over Saini’s selection in the Delhi Ranji team as the bowler hails from Haryana.
My ‘condolences’ to few DDCA members, @BishanBedi @ChetanChauhanCr on selection of ‘outsider’ Navdeep Saini to India squad. Am told black armbands are available in Bangalore too for INR 225 per roll!!! Sir, just remember Navdeep is an Indian first then comes his domicile @BCCI
— Gautam Gambhir (@GautamGambhir) 12 June 2018
Saini was called up as a replacement for fast bowler Mohammad Shami who failed the fitness test in Bengaluru ahead of the one-off Test against Afghanistan. The right-arm bowler took attention for his successful Ranji Trophy campaign where he bagged a total of 34 wickets in eight matches.
Saini had earlier credited Gambhir for his Ranji call. “Gautam bhaiya told me “Jaise tennis ball se dalta hai, waise hi dal. Koi tension nahi. Baaki sab theek ho jayega (Just bowl like you bowl with a tennis ball. Everything will fall in place). I did what he told me and today I am here because of him. I don’t know whenever I speak about Gautam Gambhir, I get emotional,” Saini had told PTI.
“I remember every tiny little thing. I know what Gautam bhaiya had to go through to convince selectors that I was good enough to play for Delhi. Not to forget Ashish Nehra, Mithun Manhas, Sumit Narwal, who all stood by me. In fact, after first few matches, he (Gambhir) said that if I keep working hard at every practice session, I will play for India. He saw in me before I realised myself. Today when I look back about those days, I smile,” Saini had added.