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UP selectors deny charges

November 30, 2003 22:40 IST

Uttar Pradesh junior cricket team selectors Gopal Sharma and Shashikant Khandekar on Sunday denied charges that they had demanded a bribe of Rs 50,000 from young player Ritesh Yadav for including him in the state under-17 team.

Addressing a joint press conference at the Green Park stadium, Kanpur, the two selectors called Ritesh and his father Shyam Bahadur Yadav's bribery allegations as "baseless and concocted".

The two also said the father and son duo had come up with the "fabricated" allegations one year back, which had prompted the Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association (UPCA) to conduct a "proper investigation."

"The baseless and concocted allegations of taking bribe trumped over us by a said player Ritesh Yadav and his father Shyam Bahadur Yadav is not a current affair.

"The same fabricated allegations they had put forward last year to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and a proper investigation was carried out by the UPCA, which found the charges as baseless," Sharma said.

The two also claimed that Shyam Bahadur had tried to pressurise the selectors for inclusion of his son in the under-17 team which Ritesh "never deserve on the basis of merit."

"He was never selected in the district team. As per Kanpur Cricket Association's (KCA) record he only played ten B-division games organised by KCA in 2002-03 as a member of a commercial club and scored only 150 runs," Khandekar said.

Khandekar said, "the whole thing is a deliberate conspiracy to defame us and hurt our integrity and credibility, which we had earned during long span of our cricket career.

"This malicious attempt is to ruin and demotivate the efforts towards the development of cricket."

Welcoming the probe ordered by the state government into the scandal, Sharma said the investigation "would bring the facts on the book."

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