New Delhi: Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) vice president Chetan Chouhan on Wednesday termed as “baseless” allegations levelled by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal regarding one of the city’s cricket officials seeking sex for selecting players.
Chouhan, who is presently DDCA acting president, also said that the city’s cricket body will sue Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief Kejriwal and suspended BJP MP Kirti Azad for defamation for alleging irregularities in the various age-group squads of Delhi and financial bungling in DDCA.
“We have no information regarding the allegations put against us. Nobody has complained to us. If someone has to complain they are welcome to tell us and we will keep the information and the names confidential. Obviously, it is a very serious matter which has to be dealt with utmost seriousness,” Chouhan said at a press conference here.
“I completely understand the gravity of the matter. If anyone has any complaint, come and tell us. We will keep the information a secret and action will be taken against the guilty. What I am wondering is why people are levelling these baseless charges against us. Why are people levelling charges without any proof,” the former India cricketer wondered.
In an interview to NDTV on Tuesday, Kejriwal, whose government has set up a Commission of Inquiry into alleged irregularities in the DDCA, said sexual favours were sought for selecting players.
“You will be surprised to know that a senior journalist phoned me and said that his son, who plays cricket, was selected,” Kejriwal said.
“But his son’s name was not there in the list. And can you believe it… the next day his wife gets an SMS that said ‘come to my house and your son’s name will be there (in the list),” he said.
But Chouhan refuted the charge. He denied that money was paid to secure selection in various age-group squads and said if they were true, Delhi would not be producing cricketers who go on to play for the national side.
“And regarding paid selection what I want to know is who has taken money, where has he taken it, when did any DDCA official take money or anything of that sort. If you have to complain please do but I request ‘ki log hawa me baatein na kare’. This will only bring disrepute on us. Till now, we were being quiet and did not say much. But the allegation that has been put against us is a grave one, is a serious one so we had to come out and speak,” he said.
“Players from Delhi are performing well. I am happy to tell that Delhi’s Ranji team also reached the final of Vijay Hazare Trophy. Three cricketers are currently playing for the Indian team. So all these allegations against DDCA are not right. If that was the case, Virat Kohli, who hails from Delhi, would not have been captain of the Indian Test team.”
Apart from Kohli, pacer Ishant Sharma and opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan are currently part of the national side across different formats. Chauhan also denied the allegations of financial irregularities involving the renovation of the Ferozeshah Kotla stadium.
“We have spent money like a miser. Only Rs.114 crore were spent on stadium construction, renovation and related works. Everything was done very frugally. We want complete transparency in the DDCA. We completely deny allegations of financial irregularities made by the AAP,” Chauhan said. He insisted that because of the increase in the seating-capacity of the stadium, the cost escalated.