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Hooligans back at Kotla; official’s son gets place in Delhi squad

Tomar, who changed his name to Lovely Tomar threatened Delhi's selectors with dire consequences if they didn't pick him, reports Heena Zuni Pandit.

cricket Updated: Feb 21, 2009 18:35 IST
Heena Zuni Pandit
Heena Zuni Pandit
Hindustan Times

WHAT CAN you say about the Delhi & Districts Cricket Association that has not been said before? Yet, matters get so bizarre there that there's little choice but to report this.

On Tuesday, the day the DDCA held a meeting to announce their squad for the Ranji one-dayers, Navdeep Tomar, a man well known to DDCA old-timers for bringing truckloads of hooligans to the Kotla to try and browbeat officials into selecting him, was at it again.

Tomar, who changed his name to Lovely Tomar — he says to "begin afresh" — threatened Delhi's selectors with dire consequences if they didn't pick him. "He abused us, asking why he wasn't in the list and told us we knew what would happen if he wasn't picked," said a selector.

Even as Tomar had selector Bantu Singh's car tyres deflated, the meeting was postponed, police were brought in and it was held later.

Tomar, while agreeing that he "spoke" to the selectors, told HT he was alone and not with a bunch of his friends. He said he was tired of the DDCA's "double standards".

"I just asked them if the reason I am not being picked is because I don't know someone with a hold on votes in the DDCA. They agreed that they worked under pressure and that I deserved to be there."

While this last part is not quite true — Tomar has been around long and there are far better players in Delhi — his parting shot rings somewhat true. "Baaki players ke papa khila rahe hain."

The all-powerful sports committee convenor Vinod Tihara's son Vartik finds himself in the one-day squad yet again.

There was reportedly some debate about the ethics of picking Tihara — a blatant case of nepotism as, like in the case of Tomar, there are far better qualified players in Delhi — but the selectors decided to stick with him as "he had been picked in the days' squad and could not be dropped as he hadn't played a game." Convenient logic, every single time.

First Published: Feb 21, 2009 18:28 IST