'Arun Jaitleyji was always available for players in case of any difficulty at any time'
Top India players, including Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir, on Sunday, came out strongly in support of Finance Minister and former DDCA President Arun Jaitley, who has been accused of turning a blind eye to financial irregularities during his tenure by AAP.
Jaitley headed DDCA for 13 years till 2013 and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has demanded that Jaitley must resign or be "removed" from the union cabinet to enable an independent probe.
However, Gambhir, Sehwag and pacer Ishant Sharma came out strongly in support of Jaitley.
"A lot of good things have happened in DDCA when Mr Jaitley was its president. An international kind of stadium was built, if you see what sort of stadium Kotla was and what it is now, all these things happened only when Jaitley was President," Gambhir told reporters.
"All these people who are criticising him now left right and center, they too were part of the cricket improvement committee, they were given top most posts and they were able to do nothing for Delhi.
"Now when he is not there as president, every kind of allegation is levelled against him. They should not have taken such positions in DDCA if that was the case," he added.
Sehwag, on his part, lauded Jaitley for being there for the players. The swashbuckling batsman, who switched loyalties to Haryana from Delhi, and retired from international cricket earlier this year, steered clear of making any political claim, but lauded Jaitley's role in helping players.
"In my time with DDCA if I ever came to know of any 'surprising' selection of a player, all I needed to do was to inform @arunjaitley," Sehwag tweeted.
"And @arunjaitleyIi would immediately ensure correction and justice for the deserving players at #DDCA...Was a nightmare to speak to some others at DDCA but @arunjaitleyji was always available for players in case of any difficulty at any time," he added.
Another Delhi player, pacer Ishant Sharma also backed Jaitley.
"Arun Jaitleyji has always been helpful, fair and kind in all my interactions with him #DDCA," he tweeted.
Jaitley has rejected all the charges against him.
Gambhir said things have gone from bad to worse in the DDCA ever since Jaitley stepped down as president.
"I think, things have gone really bad after he vacated the post. If you look at the sort of preparation that was there ahead of the first class season this year, there was no bowlers, no wickets or nets, such things never happened when Jaitleyji was president. So you have to say that things were good when he was there," Gambhir pointed out.
"I don't know whether there is any corruption or not, I just think, the current officials should not be there because they never think about cricket. Situation was much better earlier. Things have never been so bad in DDCA in the last two years. There is no one whom you can go to now.
"Today all allegations are levelled on Jaitley not on DDCA. My question is he didn't run DDCA alone and even if he would have, things were much better then," he added.