Members of India’s 1983 World Cup-winning cricket team on Friday came out in support of the protesting wrestlers saying they are “distressed and disturbed” at leading grapplers being “manhandled” by police in Delhi earlier this week.
In a statement, the members said they are “most concerned” that that athletes might be “dumping” their medals in the River Ganga as part of their ongoing protest. “We are distressed and disturbed at the unseemly visuals of our champion wrestlers being manhandled,” a statement released to media on Friday by members of the squad said.
“We are also most concerned that they are thinking of dumping their hard-earned medals into river Ganga.
“Those medals have involved years of effort, sacrifice, determination, and grit and are not only their own but the nation’s pride and joy. We urge them not to take any hasty decision in this matter and also fervently hope that their grievances are heard and resolved quickly. Let the law of the land prevail.”
Kapil Dev, who led that side to victory, told media that “the whole of 1983 team stands by the statement we have issued”.
Apart from Kapil, the 13 members of that squad includes Sunil Gavaskar, one of the icons of the game, as well as Ravi Shastri, Mohinder Amarnath, K. Srikkanth and Roger Binny, the current BCCI president who was also the highest wicket-taker in the tournament.
The statement came two days after Anil Kumble, Robin Uthappa and a few other former cricketers expressed their anguish at the situation.
Apart from Kumble and Uthappa, cricketer Irfan Pathan, tweeted “I’m so sad to see the visuals of our Athletes” on Sunday night itself, and from Manoj Tiwary, now a TMC MLA from West Bengal, offered his support to the wrestlers.