Former India captain Bishan Singh Bedi announced his candidature against Arun Jaitley for the post of the Delhi & Districts Cricket Association (DDCA) president in the upcoming association elections scheduled for December 30.
"Yes, I have decided to contest for the president's post in the upcoming DDCA elections. It's time that one stands up and protests against the manner in which the association is being run," 67-year-old Bedi said while confirming the news of his candidature.
Asked as to what prompted him to fight the elections, Bedi was prompt in his reply, "Don't you guys see what kind of financial bungling has happened in the state association over the years?
"You know that SFIO (Serious Frauds and Investigations Office) has been carrying out a probe against DDCA for financial irregularities. That's one of the primary reasons for me being ready to contest the elections," Bedi stated.
Apart from the administrative reasons, the cricketing reasons are also there which include 40 players being selected in the Delhi A (U-25) team that took part in the CK Nayudu Trophy, the decision of the senior team to play their matches at the Roshanara ground instead of Feroze Shah Kotla as well as playing rookie Haryana pacer Navdeep Saini in the Delhi senior team in the Ranji match against Vidarbha that concluded.
In fact Bedi had written a protest letter to Jaitley about Roshanara being the venue for Ranji matches as well as questioned Navdeep's selection as he is from Karnal (Haryana) and has not played any cricket in Delhi or NCR.
When Bedi was told that skipper Gautam Gambhir and most of the Delhi players want to play at Roshanara where they have got 13 points from two games, Bedi said that it's not the players alone who were involved in this pressure tactic.
"It takes two to tango! Isn't it. Obviously there are people who are supporting the players in this," Bedi said, hinting that the selection committee chaired by former opener Chetan Chauhan was hand in glove with Gambhir in this decision.
In fact a senior member of the Delhi team management clearly said that "come what may, we are going to play against Punjab at Roshanara". A meeting in this regard will be held on December 19 and a lot of fireworks are expected at that meeting.
Asked if he could take on a political heavyweight like Jaitley, who is firmly entrenched in DDCA and also has the support of voters, he replied, "Just wait and watch. I am not someone who is going to back out".
Image: Bishan Singh Bedi
Photograph: Adnan Abidi/Reuters