Wrestlers’ Protest: BCCI chief Roger Binny distances himself from joint statement from 1983 WC team

Binny – who is also a member of the 1983 WC team – said he was not a signatory to a statement on the wrestlers’ protest. Binny became BCCI chief in October 2022 after getting elected unanimously.

“Contrary to some media reports, I would like to clarify that I have not issued any statement regarding the current situation of the wrestlers’ protest,” Binny told PTI. Wrestlers’ Protest: Members of 1983 WC winning team urge grapplers not to take hasty decision

“I believe that the competent authorities are working on resolving the issue. As a former cricketer, I believe that sports should not be mixed with politics,” he added.

Earlier in the day, a PTI report claimed that several members of the 1983 World Cup winning side came out in support of the protesting wrestlers and urged them not to take any hasty decision while hoping that players’ issues will be “heard and resolved”.

The statement said the team was distressed and disturbed after seeing the visuals of wrestlers being manhandled but also hoped that the law of the land will prevail.

Vinesh Phogat, Sakshi Malik and Bajrang Punia, who have been demanding the arrest of Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Birj Bhushan Sharan Singh for alleged sexual exploitation of women wrestlers, took their protest to Haridwar on May 30 but did not carry out the threat of immersing their medals into holy river Ganga.

On May 28, the Delhi Police had detained the wrestlers for violation of law and order when they marched towards the new Parliament building without permission. The Police also cleared the protest site and made it clear that the wrestlers will not be allowed back at Jantar Mantar.

The police action against the wrestlers had invited criticism from different quarters. “We are distressed and disturbed at the unseemly visuals of our champion wrestlers being manhandled. We are also most concerned that they are thinking of dumping their hard-earned medals into river Ganga,” the statement read.

“Those medals have involved years of effort, sacrifice, determination, and grit and are not only their own but the nation’s pride and joy. We urge them not to take any hasty decision in this matter and also fervently hope that their grievances are heard and resolved quickly. Let the law of the land prevail,” the statement read further.

Under the leadership of legendary skipper Kapil Dev, the Indian cricket team had defeated the mighty West Indies – who were being led by legendary Clive Llyod – to win the country’s maiden World Cup trophy.

“I am not going to say anything individually, the whole of 1983 team stands by the statement we have issued,” Kapil said. It has been learnt that Kirit Azad, who was part of the 83 team and is now a Trinamool Congress member, sought approval only from Kapil and Madan Lal before issuing the statement.

The other members of the 83 batch include iconic Sunil Gavaskar, Mohinder Amarnath, K Srikanth, Syed Kirmani, Yashpal Sharma, Madan Lal, Balwinder Singh Sandhu and Sandeep Patil. The World Cup final was played at the Lord’s on June 25, 1983.

(With PTI Inputs)

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