Mumbai Cricket Association joint secretary Nitin Dalal on Friday said he felt pity for promising left-arm spinner Ankeet Chavan, who was banned for life by the BCCI on spot-fixing charges in the Indian Premier League, saying that he was on the verge of being picked for India 'A' team.
"It is a sad day for Mumbai cricket. It's a pity that Ankeet Chavan has been found guilty. He was set to be picked for India A team as he’s a wicket taking bowler," said Dalal while reacting on the Board of Control for Cricket in India decision to ban Chavan.
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The BCCI's Disciplinary Committee, comprising N Srinivasan, Arun Jaitley and Niranjan Shah, enquiring into the allegations of spot-fixing against some Rajasthan Royals, imposed the ban on Chavan after a hearing in New Delhi.
Chavan and India Test pacer S Sreesanth were banned for life from playing any representative cricket, or in any way being associated with the activities of the BCCI or its affiliates, said the statement from the Board.
Even as he expressed sadness on the life ban imposed on Chavan, Dalal was also relieved a bit that another Mumbai player and left-arm spinner Harmeet Singh was let off for lack of evidence.
"He (Harmeet) is now free to play for Mumbai if selected," said Dalal.
Dalal explained that Harmeet, a member of India's victorious Under-19 World Cup-winning squad and also of IPL franchise Rajasthan Royals, has already decided not to play for Vidarbha, after having approached them earlier.
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Harmeet's grandmother Preetam Kaur also expressed her happiness over the clean chit given to the youngster by the BCCI's disciplinary panel when contacted at the player's residence in Mumbai.
Stating that the entire family was in Delhi, she said, "There was a lot of anxiety all these days. I got a call from Harmeet's mother from Delhi... now we are extremely happy."
Image: Ankeet Chavan