“There Was Pressure…”: Report Alleges Favouritism In Delhi’s Ranji Trophy Squad




Delhi’s Ranji Trophy campaign hit a new low on Friday after team’s best batter Ayush Badoni, who is going through a rough patch, was asked to stay back in team hotel at the behest of powerful officials, who wanted to teach the “IPL star” a lesson. Keeping Badoni out of 15 didn’t make much of a difference to Delhi’s inept batting as Uttarakhand’s medium pace bowlers shot them out for 147 in a Ranji Trophy group D match in Mohali. In five completed innings so far this season, Delhi batters have failed to cross 200 on three occasions and highest individual score is Vaibhaav Kandpal’s 49 in last game. On the day, it was Yash Dhull’s 47 and at stumps, Uttarakhand were 98 for four with Navdeep Saini getting three wickets.

However more than mere statistic, Badoni, who scored 41 in the last game and is perhaps the only player in current Delhi stable who is rated highly on national circuit, had to be put on chopping block to accommodate Kshitiz Sharma, who is believed to be close to a former BCCI office bearer.

“Yes, there was pressure to play Kshitiz and specifically to keep Badoni out of 15, so that he doesn’t even get BCCI’s allotted match fees. Only 15 players are entitled to BCCI match fees. Since he can’t be allowed in PMOA (Players and Match Officials Area), it was thought that it would be better off to keep him in hotel,” a senior DDCA official told PTI on conditions of anonymity.

But why wasn’t he even brought to the ground when could have watched the proceedings from adjoining VIP gallery? “The team managers would have had to arrange for his meals separately as BCCI wouldn’t have paid for it and also during breaks or match, he couldn’t have attended the nets as Punjab CA have their camp on. So it was better to keep him in hotel,” the official, who is close to a DDCA director said.

There is a school of thought Badoni has lost focus after two seasons of IPL and keeping him in hotel was a way of teaching him a lesson.

“If Ayush would have scored a 100, those who desperately want to see him out of Delhi cricket wouldn’t have got a chance to raise their voice and push for cricketers like Kshitiz, who don’t deserve to be in the dressing room.

“Even he should take blame for not scoring runs,” the senior official, who sounded helpless said.

Kshitiz, who many in Delhi consider a decent club level cricketer, shouldered arms to an innocuous Abhay Negi delivery pitched on length and just cut back enough to peg back the off-stump.

However it is understood that DDCA president Rohan Jaitley would crack the whip in case things go all awry after the current game.

“Rohan’s heart is in right place but it is about time he takes some tough calls. If Kshitiz doesn’t score runs in the second innings, the president’s intervention would be required,” the official added.

More disappointing was skipper Himmat Singh’s manner of dismissal as Deepak Dhapola, who bowls in mid 120 clicks, bowled him through the gate.

Dhull, who was considered an India prospect long back, has been exposed badly with serious technical problems in his stance and set-up (shoulder and head falling across off-stump).

The manner of getting out has been identical as he gets squared up to deliveries on the channel like Devendra Bora did on the day.

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