Cricketers cry foul, allege they were cheated

A group of cricketers here have filed a complaint against the organisers of the recently-concluded UP T20 League for ‘duping’ them of Rs.35-50 lakh. The FIR, which was filed on Wednesday, states that the organisers had promised a prize money of Rs.1 lakh to the winners, Rs.50,000 to the runners-up and special prizes of Rs.15,000 each and take the top-15 performers to England. Nothing has materialised so far.

It all started in July last when the boys were charged Rs.500 as trial fee and Rs.2000 for the camps. Once selected, the players were asked to pay a ‘participation’ fee, which ranged from Rs.15,000-Rs.35,000 (negotiable). However, after the boys arrived here, they realised that the event wasn’t affiliated either to the UP Cricket Association or its district body.

The organisers had claimed that it was being held under the aegis of the state government.

The issue would not have come to the fore had the organisers not barred some of the players from participating.

“Some of the boys had paid money to a coach in Allahabad, who didn’t forward the sum to the organisers, who then asked seven players, including a team captain, to vacate the KD Singh Babu Stadium’s dormitory on Sunday night. “The boys were forced to sleep on the street,” Sanjeev Srivastava, who filed the FIR against the organisers along with 30 others, told HT.

“Most of the players had taken money from their families as they thought it was an official event and they would benefit from it. We were given spurious kits, even the shoes were local made."

The organisers had formed six teams of 16 players each. The event was even aired live on DD, which the organisers managed after paying stipulated fees for the slot. Initially, the police were reluctant to take action. It was after chief minister, Akhilesh Yadav, intervened that the FIR was filed.

Among the accused are tournament chairman, SHM Rizvi, and treasurer, Laxmikant Singh. A former minister Lalji Verma has also been named as an accused. While Rizvi and Singh are absconding, police are probing the role of the minister.


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