A concerned Kirti Azad has alerted retired justice Mukul Mudgal about the likelihood of sabotage by some disgruntled and frustrated ‘elements’ before or during the next month’s India-South Africa Test match, and has suggested him to brief the police accordingly.
Former India player Azad said that the sabotage could be done in a variety of ways, like removing screws and nut bolts from machines like Super Sopper, which is used for drying up wet ground, digging up the pitch, throwing oil on the pitch, tearing or cutting up the pitch/ground covers.
In 1999, the Ferozeshah Kotla pitch was dug up by right wing Shiv Sena activists before a Test against Pakistan.
Azad said that some people at the DDCA are feeling frustrated as all routes of earning illegal money have been plugged by Mudgal, who has been appointed by Delhi High Court to conduct the match.
A Member of Parliament, Azad said that these elements or “their cronies” could resort to sabotage as Mudgal has taken charge of all the financial dealings/contracts, thus annoying those who are used to manipulating tenders and earning through illegal means during international matches at the Kotla.
“Please beware of sabotage. The frustrated DDCA management is quite capable of disrupting the Test match to give the high court and you a bad name,” warned Azad in his mail to Mudgal that he has released to the media too.
Mentioning a few likely ways of sabotage, Azad said anything from removing “screws and nut bolts from Super Sopper and other machines, digging up the pitch, throwing oil on the pitch, tearing or cutting the covers etc. can be done by the frustrated elements/their cronies”.
“Please advise the police directly,” Azad suggested, even as he said he was aware that DDCA working Chetan Chauhan, treasurer Ravinder Manchanda and patron Suresh Chopra had advised the Delhi police as to how they should provide security before and during the Test, starting on 3 December.
While giving examples of the previous two Test matches hosted by the DDCA at the Ferozeshah Kotla – against the West Indies in 2011 that last four days and the one against Australia in 2013 that lasted only three days – Azad claims that all the expenditure figures those games were highly inflated (click on graphic below to see).
“Please look at the expenses. All, without exception have been padded up, apart from being executed by front companies. Year after year, these very vendors have been producing three quotations – two of them are invariably fakes,” Azad wrote.
After taking charge a few days ago, Mudgal rectified “faulty” tenders and had them re-drafted by retired Deputy Comptroller and Auditor General of India I.P. Singh, whom he handpicked for “very good reputation”.
Most of the tenders were scheduled to be opened at 5 pm on Tuesday and the one for catering on Thursday.
Azad is also apprehensive about the internet facility required to open tenders that have been invited online. He, therefore, suggested that internet data cards be purchased and that his teamwork from inside the Ferozeshah Kotla premises.
A former Delhi captain, Azad also raised the issue of free passes in his email.
“Distribution of passes and free food is a major malaise in the DDCA. Please keep track of the number of tickets printed and those quietly given out as freebies to loyalists, proxy collectors/members/government officials etc.,” he wrote.
“Similarly, the press area is another area abused by DDCA officials where friends of DDCA office-bearers are treated at DDCA’s expense, and all expenditure is palmed off in the name of media management.”