Objecting to the proposed statue of Arun Jaitley inside the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi, legendary cricketer Bishan Singh Bedi has asked the DDCA to remove his name from the stand. The former Indian spinner has also quit the DDCA membership in a letter addressed to DDCA President Rohan Jaitley.
After Arun Jaitley passed away last year, his son Rohan Jaitley took over the role of DDCA President and Feroz Shah Kotla was named after late Jaitley. Bedi was understandably irked by the same and now that a statue of Late Arun Jaitley has been planned to install at the venue, he has decided to leave his role as the DDCA member while asking to remove his name from the stands at the venue.
"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," Bedi wrote in his letter, reported Times of India.
"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. "
Bedi accused Arun Jaitley of creating a sycophant culture inside the DDCA boardroom which he opposed during that time. The legendary spinner further added that it pains him to see the current administration follows the culture of "fawning obeisance" something he believes is not healthy for the sport.
"My reservations about the choice of people he hand-picked to run the day to day affairs of DDCA is well known. I remember walking out from a meeting at his residence whence he was unable to throw out a rowdy element using terribly foul language. I think I was too headstrong..too Old school..& too proud an Indian cricketer to be co-opted into the corrupt darbar of sycophants Arun Jaitley mustered at the Kotla during his stewardship."
"After the Feroze Shah Kotla was named hurriedly & most undeservingly after Late Arun Jaitley my reaction then was maybe somehow good sense might prevail to keep Kotla sacrosanct. How wrong I was. Now I gather a statue of Late Arun Jaitley is going to be installed at the Kotla. I'm not at all enamoured with the thought of a statue of Arun Jaitley coming up at Kotla."
Bedi further cited that stadiums are a place for cricketers and they need to be celebrated and not the politicians. Calling Arun Jaitley a politician, Bedi added it is the Parliament which needs to "remember him for posterity” and the cricket stadiums need to act as a celebratory ground for cricketers.
"This is not a rhetorical assessment but a factual appraisal of his time at DDCA. Take my word, failures don't need to be celebrated with plaques & busts. They need to be forgotten.
“People who surround you presently will never inform you that it's 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.
"Sporting arenas need sporting role models. The place of the administrators is in their glass cabins. Since DDCA doesn't understand this Universal cricket culture, I need to walk out of it. I can't be part of a stadium which has got its priorities so grossly wrong & where administrators get precedence over the cricketers. Please bring down my name from the stand with immediate effect."