Former Indian pacer Amit Bhandhari thrashed over selection row

Bhandari sustained head and ear injuries and was taken to Sant Paramanand Hospital in Civil Lines by his colleague Sukhvinder Singh. 

Former Indian pacer Amit Bhandhari thrashed over selection row
Image Courtesy: Reuters

Former India pacer Amit Bhandari, who is the chairman of Delhi & Districts Cricket Association (DDCA) senior selection committee, was assaulted by a group of unidentified men during the Under-23 team's trials at Saint Stephen's ground on Monday.

Bhandari sustained head and ear injuries and was taken to Sant Paramanand Hospital in Civil Lines in New Delhi by his colleague Sukhvinder Singh.

The goons fled the spot before the police could reach.

DDCA president Rajat Sharma told PTI that the guilty would not be spared.

"We are trying to procure all details of the incident. As far as I have come to know, it is regarding one disgruntled player, who didn't make it to the probable list for the National U-23 tournament," Sharma said.

"The SHO from the local police station has reached Stephen's ground and I have personally spoken to the Delhi Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik. The guilty will not go unpunished. I promise exemplary action against whoever is found involved in this misdeed. We will register an FIR," he added.

Delhi's senior and U-23 team manager Shankar Saini narrated the incident.

"I was having my meal along with a colleague inside the tent and Bhandari along with other selectors and senior team coach Mithun Manhas was watching the probables play a trial match," Saini said.

"A couple of men first came and went up to Bhandari. There were heated exchanges between Bhandari and the two men. They left and before we could gather our thoughts, suddenly some 15 men armed with hockey sticks, rods and cycle chains came charging," he added.

"When the other boys attending the trials along with us rushed to save Bhandari, they started threatening us and one of them said, "Don't get into this or else we will shoot you." 

"They hit Bhandari with hockey sticks and rods and he sustained a head injury," the former Delhi seamer added.

When asked who could be behind the attack, Saini said, "I was not there when these two guys came and spoke with Bhandari. He is obviously rattled and once he gives his statement to the police, we will get to know more."

Delhi cricket has always been mired in corruption charges and allegations of dubious selections at the various age-group levels have also surfaced time and again.