35 lakh caller bill, ‘death threat’: Uttarakhand cricket behind the clouds

More than Rs 1.74 crore for food and catering, including Rs 35 lakh for bananas; Daily allowance Rs 49.5 lakh; The Covid lockdown cost Rs 11 crore; Non-payment of dues to players; Clever selection policy. Then extortion and death threats.

The Uttarakhand Cricket Association (CAU) is in the midst of allegations ranging from financial inconsistencies to intimidation of players.

So much so that CAU secretary Mahim Verma, team head coach Manish Jha and association spokesperson Sanjay Gusain were questioned by Uttarakhand police when they were named in an FIR alleging extortion and death by the father of a former India under-19 cricketer. Threat

Joy Shah with Mahim Verma at Dehradun Stadium. (Twitter / Joy Shah)

“For the last three days, we have called Mahim Verma, Manish Jha and Sanjay Gusain separately. We interrogated them. We have taken their statement, ”Dehradun SSP Janmejaya Khanduri told The Indian Express. “If necessary, it will be done again.”

An FIR has been lodged with the Basant Bihar Police Station in Dehradun under IPC section for criminal conspiracy (120B), voluntary assault (323), extortion (384), intentional insult (504) and criminal intimidation (506).

Complainant Birendra Sethi, who is the father of former under-19 player Arya Sethi, alleged that Jha, team manager Navneet Mishra and video analyst Piyush Raghuvanshi threatened to kill his son during the Vijay Hazare tournament last year.

According to the records and interviews with the players reviewed by The Indian Express, this is the last chapter of the troubled innings of Uttarakhand cricket.

Players point to non-payment of arrears or underpayment (Rs 100 is paid as DA when the mandatory amount is Rs 1,500) and food is not provided during tournaments and training camps – spending a total of millions of rupees on association book list items. Such as bananas and water bottles, even during epidemics.

The CAU audit report dated March 31, 2020 listed Rs 1,74,07,346 for food and meals and Rs 49,58,750 for daily allowance. This includes Rs 35 lakh for bananas and Rs 22 lakh for bottled water.

Robin Bisht, an outside professional for the Uttarakhand team, has backed Sethi’s allegations and recalled an incident before the recent Ranji Trophy quarter-final against Mumbai.

“We returned to the Tim Hotel and went to have lunch after our recovery session at the pool. Hotel staff said they had been told not to serve us food. When we called the team manager, he replied: ‘Order something from Swiggy or Zomato or stay hungry. If you don’t eat one day, you won’t be beaten (one day you won’t die if you don’t eat) ”, said Bisht.

Uttarakhand lost the match to Mumbai by 725 runs – marking a world record win in cricket.

“The next day, we had a flight to Delhi. After leaving the airport, we called our team manager again and told him that we had to go to Dehradun. ‘Where do we live?’ The answer is, book a cab, bus or train. Our job was to take you to Delhi, not your home ‘, said Bisht.

Independent MLA in the Uttarakhand Assembly Umesh Kumar has also leveled allegations of corruption against the CAU.

“During Covid, the CAU disbursed Rs 6.5 crore as professional fees. I want to know who they gave this money to? Prior to March 2020, the professional fee was around Rs 2.75 crore. During Kovid, who had lunch and dinner worth Rs 1.27 crore? How did they hire a cricket coach? I also raised it in the Uttarakhand House. I think the BCCI should intervene; There is a lot of corruption here, ”Kumar told the Indian Express.

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“When everything was closed during the lockdown, they invested Rs 11 crore and under full operation, you are investing Rs 12 crore,” Kumar said.

Meanwhile, players have complained that they are being paid much less than the BCCI regulations. “Our official DA was Rs 1,500, we were getting Rs 100 every day. We received Rs 2,700 for 27 days; An unskilled worker has earned more than us, ”said Bisht.

MLA Kumar said he had brought the matter to the notice of the state government. “I and 12 other MLAs have written to the Chief Minister, and we will go to the Supreme Court if necessary. The Lodha Committee was appointed by the Supreme Court, and ‘Mr Verma & Company’ is not following court regulations, ”Kumar said.

In his police complaint, Sethi alleged that Verma demanded Rs 10 lakh to include his son in the state team.

The allegations come after former India opener Wasim Zafar resigned as head coach following allegations of “communalizing” the dressing room – which Zafar has vehemently denied.

The CAU has also been accused of corruption by Independent MLA Umesh Kumar (left) in the Uttarakhand Assembly. (Twitter)

CAU secretary Mahim Verma and president Jot Singh Gansola have also faced allegations of financial irregularities from their own association vice-president Sanjay Rawat and joint secretary Abneesh Verma to the state cricket body’s ombudsman and ethics officer. “We have also sent a letter to the BCCI. Ethics officers Mahim Verma and Jot Singh Gansola have been asked to submit their responses by Thursday, ”Rawat said.

Speaking to The Indian Express, a top BCCI official said: “Right now, this is a matter related to a state agency. If it is raised at the BCCI’s highest council meeting on July 21, we will see. “

Mahim Verma and head coach Manish Jha did not respond to calls from the Indian Express to comment on the allegations against them.

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