In a shocking move, India Over-50's cricket captain Shailendra Singh has stepped down ahead of their World Cup clash against Pakistan in South Africa. Singh alleged that there was external pressure on him to include two specific players in the team's next two round-robin matches. Besides, he also alleged that India were instructed to drop the President and Head Coach of IVCCI, from the Indian Selection Committee.
“I have backed out because my team from India was being compromised due to the actions of a senior member of the Over 50’s World Cup Committee, in the presence of the Veterans Cricket Association of South Africa. I was asked that I must include and play two specific players in the two out of the next four round-robin matches, which India is scheduled to play against Pakistan, South Africa, Wales and Namibia; and further instructed that India has to drop the President and Head Coach of IVCCI, from the Indian Selection Committee," said Singh.
"This is beyond all tenets of integrity and amounts to sports manipulation which I will, shall and can never accept nor indulge in. I cannot, with my integrity intact, continue to captain and play for the team from India in this tournament."
Singh said the external pressure was a "blatant compromise of the integrity of cricket", something he had never witnessed before in his career. “In my thirty-five years of impeccable record related to Indian cricket, I have never seen such attempted manipulation and blatant compromise of the integrity of cricket.”
Apart from Singh, Ajoy Roy, President and Head Coach of IVCCI, has also stepped down, saying: “The present situation is unacceptable to me. I am immensely disturbed and do not endorse the team from India playing against Pakistan today. Therefore, I have withdrawn IVCCI and myself from participating any further in the 2020 Over-50’s Cricket World Cup.”
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