New Delhi: He hasn’t played a single match this season but controversial Bihar politician Pappu Yadav’s son Sarthak Ranjan has walked into Delhi’s T20 side, which has surprisingly kept under-23 top-scorer Hiten Dalal in the reserves. Pappu Yadav, whose official name is Rajesh Ranjan, is a former Rashtriya Janata Dal politician and MP from Madhepura. He has now floated his own party, Jan Adhikar, while his wife Ranjeet Ranjan is a Congress MP from Supaul.
The three-member selection committee, comprising Atul Wassan, Hari Gidwani and Robin Singh Junior, has drawn flak from all corners for ignoring some of the performers and selecting an influential person’s son, who at the start of the season, had almost given up on the game.
Sarthak was also a controversial pick for Delhi during the last Mushtaq Ali campaign during which he scored 5, 3 and 2 aggregating 10 runs in three games. At the start of the season, Sarthak withdrew himself after being named in the Ranji Trophy probable list. There were conflicting reports that he had lost interest in the sport and was pursuing body-building (to prepare for Mr India contest).
Suddenly, during the end of the season, Sarthak’s mother Ranjeet Ranjan wrote an e-mail to DDCA administrator Justice (Retd) Vikramajit Sen that her son was earlier suffering from depression and but was now fit to play. As per protocol, Justice Sen forwarded the letter to the selectors as it was their domain. Suddenly, without playing a single match, Sarthak was put into the standby list of the Delhi U-23 team playing the CK Nayudu Trophy.
When Wassan was asked about this, he said: “Sarthak had some mental issues. Once he was deemed fit, I personally monitored him and kept him in the standbys as Delhi U-23 was playing really well.” However, what has raised a lot of eyebrows is the fact that after Delhi emerged U-23 national champions, their top scorer Hiten Dalal was ignored and kept on standbys after a stupendous season.