‘DDCA getting away with murder’ – Bishan Singh Bedi slams association, asks his name to be removed from the Arun Jaitley Stadium
Bedi said that he has always believed in standing by what is right as he justified his decision of severing his ties with the DDCA.
Updated - Dec 23, 2020 4:00 pm
Former India spinner Bishan Singh Bedi has launched a stinging attack on the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) over the latter’s decision to install a statue of its late former President Arun Jaitley at the Feroz Shah Kotla ground in Delhi. The legendary spinner is miffed at the decision and has asked DDCA to remove his name from the spectators’ stand, named after him in 2017.
Lashing out at the association for promoting nepotism and putting “administrators ahead of cricketers”, Bedi also renounced his membership of the DDCA. He made the demand in a scathing letter addressed to DDCA President Rohan Jaitley, the son of the late politician, who was a minister in the BJP-led NDA government and passed away last year.
In an interview, Bedi said that he has always believed in standing by what is right as he justified his decision of severing his ties with the DDCA in addition to asking the body for getting his name removed from the stands at the iconic stadium. Bedi went as far as saying that DDCA was getting away with murder as he lashed out at their recent decision.
“I do not have to speak much, you have to speak to the DDCA. If they are adamant about getting the statue (of late DDCA president Arun Jaitley), then okay, I do not want my name to be associated with the stadium. Nothing wrong with that. Nobody is bothered in Delhi. DDCA is getting away with murder. I think this was the final nail in the coffin and I will not budge. I do not see the need to,” Bedi said.
Bishan Singh Bedi’s letter to Rohan Jaitley:
In his letter to the DDCA, Bishan Singh Bedi was critical of the way the association is being run. Expressing his disappointment over the same, Bedi said that he believes there is no place for him or his legacy at the Kotla. He also renounced his association with the DDCA.
“I pride myself as a man of immense tolerance and patience…but all that I’m afraid is running out. DDCA has truly tested me and forced me to take this drastic action. So, Mr President, I request you to remove my name from the stand named after me with immediate effect. Also, I hereby renounce my DDCA membership,” Bishan Singh Bedi wrote in his letter.
“I’ve taken this decision with sufficient deliberations. I’m not prone to disregard the honour that was bestowed upon me. But as we all know with honour comes responsibility. They feted me for the total respect and integrity with which I played the game. And now I’m returning the honour just to assure them all that four decades after my retirement, I still retain those values,” he added.
Jaitley was DDCA president for 14 years, from 1999 to 2013, before quitting cricket administration. In order to pay a tribute to him, the DDCA has planned to have a six-foot statue of him installed at the Kotla to honour his memory. Bedi further cited examples of how great cricketers were honoured in other countries, writing:
“It is WG Grace at Lord’s, Sir Jack Hobbs at the Oval, Sir Donald Bradman at the SCG, Sir Garfield Sobers at Barbados & Shane Warne of recent vintage at the MCG who adorn their cricket stadia with the Spirit of Cricket never out of place. So, when the kids walk into these stadiums these majestic statues/busts enhance and enliven the inspiring stories of these past heroes that their elders tell them. Sporting arenas need sporting role models. The place of the administrators is in their glass cabins.
“Since DDCA does not understand this universal cricket culture, I need to walk out of it. I cannot be part of a stadium that has got its priorities so grossly wrong and where administrators get precedence over the cricketers. Please bring down my name from the stand with immediate effect. You need not worry about me or my legacy. God Almighty has been very kind to me to keep me alive with my cricketing convictions. I do not wish my strength of character to be maligned by my silence or association to this unsporting act,” he added.