Wrestlers’ Protest: Members of 1983 WC winning team urge grapplers not to take hasty decision

The statement of the legendary cricketers, including Kapil Dev, Sunil Gavaskar, and others came in the wake of the wrestlers’ extreme decision over immersing their medals in the Ganga river in Haridwar.

The 1983 World Cup-winning cricket team on Friday (June 2) urged the elite athletes not to take a hasty decision and hoped their grievances will be heard and resolved. Vinesh Phogat, Sakshi Malik and Bajrang Punia have been demanding the arrest of Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh for the alleged sexual exploitation of women wrestlers.

Alleging inaction from Delhi Police and the central government and their detention during their march towards the New Parliament building on its inauguration day, the elite wrestlers took their protest to Haridwar on May 30 with the aim to immerse their medals. But they did not carry out the threat of immersing their medals into 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,” a statement released to PTI by the 1983 World Cup winning team 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 legendary skipper Kapil Dev, the Indian cricket team had humbled the mighty Clive Llyod led-West Indies to win the country’s first World Cup trophy. Sunil Gavaskar, Mohinder Amarnath, K Srikanth, Syed Kirmani, Yashpal Sharma, Madan Lal, Balwinder Singh Sandhu, Sandeep Patil, Kirti Azad and Roger Binny had featured in the memorable final, played at the Lord’s on June 25 in 1983.

(With PTI Inputs)

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