Pappu Yadav's son in Delhi team without playing match

Pappu Yadav's son in Delhi team without playing match

He hasn't played a single match this season but Sarthak Ranjan, son of controversial Bihar politician Pappu Yadav, has walked into Delhi's T20 side, which has surprisingly kept under-23 top-scorer Hiten Dalal in the reserves.

Pappu Yadav, whose official name is Rajesh Ranjan, is a former Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) politician and MP from Madhepura. He has now floated his own party called Jan Adhikar Party while his wife Ranjeet Ranjan is a Congress MP from Supaul.

The three-member selection committee, comprising Atul Wassan, Hari Gidwani and Robin Singh Junior, has drawn flak from all corners for ignoring some of the performers and selecting an influential person's son, who at the start of the season, had almost given up on the game.

Sarthak was also a controversial pick for Delhi during the last Mushtaq Ali campaign during which he scored 5, 3 and 2 aggregating 10 runs in three games.

At the start of the season, Sarthak withdrew himself after being named among Ranji Trophy probables.

There were conflicting reports that he had lost interest in the sport and was pursuing body-building. During the end of the season, Sarthak's mother Ranjeet Ranjan wrote an e-mail to DDCA administrator Justice (Retd) Vikramjit Sen saying her son was earlier suffering from depression and but was now fit to play.

As per protocol, Justice Sen forwarded the letter to the selectors as it was their domain. However, without playing a single match, Sarthak was included in the standby list of the Delhi U-23 team playing in the CK Nayudu Trophy.

When Wassan was asked about this, he said: "Sarthak had some mental issues. Once he was deemed fit, I personally monitored him and kept him in the standbys as Delhi U-23 was playing really well."

However, what has raised a lot of eyebrows is the fact that after Delhi emerged U-23 national champions, their top scorer Hiten Dalal was ignored and kept on standbys after a stupendous season.

Dalal scored 468 runs in the CK Nayudu Trophy, including one century, three half-centuries at an average of 52 and a strike rate of 91.58.

"The selection committee has been entrusted with the job and we believe they have done their duty without any pressure. The boy in question (Sarthak), I feel, is attracting some attention because of who his father is.  But I have no information that selectors were under any kind of pressure," Justice Sen told PTI when asked about Ranjan's controversial selection.

There is a school of thought in the DDCA that with IPL auctions due on January 27-28, a lot of players, who don't deserve to be in the state team, have made it only to ensure that they are somehow picked by franchises in the lowest bracket.



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