Full text of Bishan Singh Bedi’s email to DDCA president

I write this letter with a heavy heart and a deep sense of embarrassment. I’m old enough to know that there is no bad talk of the dead. And I hope you are also old enough to know my personal relationship with the late Arun Jaitley was never quite on the same page.

Let’s say we weren’t really cricket friends when he was the president of the DDCA. My reservations about choosing the people he has selected to manage the day-to-day affairs of the DDCA are well known. I remember coming out of a meeting at his residence when he was unable to throw out a rowdy element using terribly vulgar language. I think I was too stubborn … too old school … and too proud an Indian cricketer to be co-opted into the corrupt darbar of flatterers Arun Jaitley gathered at Kotla during his administration.

It pains me very much to point out the far from flattering facts about the DDCA’s unpleasant past, but believe me it has context. I was not raised to carry on the struggle to the next generation. But I have also been taught that if I firmly believe in the stance I have to stick with it.

But unfortunately that’s how it happened. Keep in mind that these are the evils of nepotism – you get blamed for decisions you weren’t a part of, and you can’t even justify your absence. As I see now, even in your leadership the DDCA’s court culture of slavish obedience continues.

After the Feroze Shah Kotla was hastily and very undeserving named after the late Arun Jaitley, my reaction was then that perhaps common sense could somehow prevail in keeping Kotla sacrosanct. How wrong I was.

Now I understand that a statue of the late Arun Jaitley will be installed at the Kotla. I’m not at all in love with the thought of an Arun Jaitley statue coming to Kotla. I am proud to be a man of immense tolerance and patience … but everything I fear is running out. DDCA really tested me and forced me to take this drastic action. Therefore, Mr. President, I ask you to remove my name from the booth named after me with immediate effect.

Furthermore, I hereby renounce my DDCA membership. I have made this decision with sufficient deliberation. I am not inclined to ignore the honor that has been bestowed on me. My gratitude to Judge Sen and the Committee of M / s Dr ND Puri, Dr Ravi Chaturvedi, Vijay Lokapally and Neeru Bhatia … all the people of social and professional eminence, who extended the warm gesture to Mohinder Amarnath and me, they will never fade.

But as we all know with honor comes responsibility. They celebrated me for the total respect and integrity I played with. And now I return the honor just to assure them that four decades after my retirement, I still hold those values.

A simple Google search would have helped to know that the late Arun Jaitley’s tenure at the DDCA was fraught with corruption. As a lawyer you should also know that cases of massive misappropriation of funds are still pending in court. I was told that the late Arun Jaitley was a skilled politician. So it is parliament and not a cricket stadium that needs to be remembered for posterity.

He may have been a good cricket fan as well, but his passion for the administration of cricket was dubious and left much to be desired. This is not a rhetorical assessment but a factual assessment of his time at the DDCA.

Take my word for it, failures don’t have to be celebrated with plaques and busts. They must be forgotten. Mr. President, if you ever go to cricket stadiums around the world, you will discover how aesthetically challenged Kotla is and how it lacks the grandeur of a Test Center. You need to be educated that sports administrators don’t have to be selfish. The people around you currently will never inform you that it is WG Grace at Lord’s … Sir Jack Hobbs at the Oval … Sir Donald Bradman at SCG … Sir Garfield Sobers at Barbados and Shane Warne of recent vintage at MCG … who adorn their cricket stadiums with the Spirit of Cricket are never out of place..so when children enter these stadiums these majestic statues / busts enhance and animate the inspiring stories of these past heroes that their elders tell them. Sports arenas need sports role models.

The place of the administrators is in their glass booths. Since DDCA doesn’t understand this universal cricket culture, I need to get out of it. I can’t be part of a stadium that has its priorities so grossly wrong and where administrators take precedence over cricketers.

Please take my name from the booth with immediate effect. You don’t have to worry about me or my legacy. Almighty God was very kind to me in keeping me alive with my cricket beliefs. I do not want my strength of character to be slandered by my silence or my association with this unsportsmanlike act.


Bishan Bedi