Legendary India spinner Bishan Singh Bedi on Saturday (December 26) warned Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) that he will take a legal route if his request to remove his name from a stand at the Arun Jaitley Stadium is further ignored.
Expressing his displeasure over the installation of late Arun Jaitley’s statue at the stadium, Bedi had made the request to remove his name from a stand last Wednesday (December 23).
Jaitley had served DDCA as president for 14 years between 1999 and 2013 and his son Rohan Jaitley currently holds the same position.
In a letter that Bedi sent on Saturday to DDCA president Rohan Jaitley as a reminder to the request he had made on December 23, the former India skipper said that he is "sad" that Jaitley is yet to respond.
"Within minutes of my letter going public I had an overwhelming support of the cricket fraternity across the globe. But I'm sad there's been no reaction from you," Bedi wrote in his letter, as quoted by IANS.
"I hope in our country people still have a right to decide as individuals what they wish to be associated with and where their name plates can hang with dignity. Please don't push me to take a legal recourse," he added.
The 74-year-old stated that he had made "a strong case" for his name to be dropped from the stand in his first letter.
"I've been around for long to know DDCA has a tradition of ignoring cricketers' voice, hence this reminder. There's a reason for my urgent request. I'm sure you would have read my initial letter where I've made a strong case to disassociate myself from DDCA's decision to install a statue of late Arun Jaitley. Not for a day or even a minute would I feel better to be part of a cricket stadium which has a statue of a person, who I strongly believe, brought down cricketing values in the capital hugely to say the least. No, I don't wish a stand in my name when late Arun Jaitley's statue is erected without any visible shame," he further wrote.
"Your inexplicable silence also underlines guilt of occupying a position of power solely because of your family name,which,you obviously wish to promote, come what may. Finally, I hope you will have the basic courtesy to reply to a former cricketer who is not asking for a favour, but wants his cricketing integrity not to be bartered away," Bedi signed off.
Earlier, a senior DDCA official had told IANS that Rohan Jaitley, who was out of Delhi in order to attend the BCCI's annual general meeting (AGM), would try and meet Bedi at his residence soon once he is back. The AGM was held in Ahmedabad on December 24.
"Our president will take time from Bedi and go and meet him, and try and convince him to take back his decision. He is scheduled to return on December 25, and the meeting may take place the next day. We will make every effort so that he takes back his decision. The naming of a stand at a stadium and installation of a statue are two different issues. Also, the public loved Bedi and appreciated his game and that's why a stand has been named after him; the public made him a star. So, he should respect public sentiments as well," the official had told IANS.
(Inputs from IANS)