Former India paceman and Delhi captain Amit Bhandari was seriously injured when a group of men led allegedly by a Delhi Under-23 cricketer attacked him on Monday morning. Bhandari, who is currently the selector for Delhi, was conducting U-23 trials at St. Stephen’s College grounds in New Delhi when hockey stick-wielding goons barged into the stadium.
The goons attacked Bhandari for not shortlisting the player for the trials. He was part of 56 probables announced by the Delhi and Districts Cricket Association (DDCA) on January 28.Bhandari, who turned out in two ODIs for India, sustained head and ear injuries and was taken to Sant Paramanand Hospital at Civil Lines by his colleague Sukhvinder Singh. The player along with one of the attackers have been detained by Delhi Police while they are looking for the other attackers.DDCA president Rajat Sharma said immediate action will be initiated against the perpetrators.“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 probables list for the National U-23 tournament. The SHO from the local police station has reached St Stephen’s ground and I have personally spoken to Delhi Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik. The guilty will not go unpunished. I promise exemplary action against whoever is found involved. We will register an FIR,” Sharma told PTI.CricketNext understands that Bhandari needed six stiches to his head and has also fractured his leg.“Dedha has annoyed that he has not been picked for the Under-23 side. He was threatening Bhandari for a few days now. But it’s shocking the way they have attacked Bhandari. We have filed a police complaint already and strict action will be taken against all of them,” Delhi cricket committee member Siddharth Verma told CricketNext.Delhi’s senior and U-23 team manager Shankar Saini also narrated the incident to PTI, saying, “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.“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,” Saini said.“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.
First Published: February 11, 2019, 3:56 PM IST