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Friends say Maninder a victim of success

Maninder said he can't take the pressure of dealing with media and police anymore just a day before he allegedly slash his wrists, reports C Shekhar Luthra.

cricket Updated: Jun 10, 2007 05:41 IST

"I can still win matches. I can still make batsmen dance to my bowling. But I can't take the pressure of dealing with media, police and lawyers anymore!" Maninder Singh told a close friend on Thursday, just a day before he allegedly slashed his wrists.

"He was very depressed and had confined himself to his room," his friend told HT on the condition of anonymity.

He revealed that after much persuasion by some close friends and a former India player, Maninder seemed to be back to his normal self and even apologised for being unreasonable.

But on Friday, Maninder got a piece of news that again sent him into a bout of depression --- the National Sports Club of India (NSCI), where he was running his cricket academy over the last two years, gave him marching orders.

"He was very upset over this episode… He was already going through a bad patch and when he heard he could not coach at the NSCI anymore, he hit yet another low," said Gurcharan Singh, the Dronacharya Award-winner who coached Maninder right from his early days in cricket.

Gurcharan blamed the media for over-hyping the Maninder case. "He needed help but first the media and then the NSCI acted irresponsibly," he added.

Gurcharan said Maninder was being harassed by the electronic media after he was released from jail on bail in the cocaine case 18 days ago. Maninder had insisted that he was not guilty in an interview to the Hindustan Times immediately after he was released.

It is a well-known fact that Maninder and his wife Melly had been going through marital problems. After living separately for several years, they decided to come together for the sake of their two young children some time ago.

Now that Maninder has been declared out of danger by the doctors, Gurcharan wants his former pupil to start a new life. "He was coaching a small group of about 20 kids at the NSCI… He can join my academy, which has around 120 students," said Gurcharan. "He has been a great motivator on the field and I hope he'll come out of this crisis a stronger man and would start a fresh life."

First Published: Jun 10, 2007 05:30 IST