New Delhi/Harare: The second-string Indian cricket team’s tour of Zimbabwe was yesterday struck by a controversy after it emerged that two men have been arrested on charges of rape even as the officials confirmed that none of the Indian cricketers was involved in the incident.
Indian players celebrate the wicket of Zimbabwean Tendai Chatara during the first ODI in Harare last week. PIC/AP, PTI
The storm erupted after the Zimbabwean media reported that an unnamed Indian cricketer had been arrested on charges of rape. The reports stated that India’s ambassador to the African nation, R Masakui, had tried to prevent the player’s arrest at a Harare hotel.
However, Masakui outrightly rejected the media speculation by clarifying that the people arrested were not associated with the Indian squad which is currently engaged in a limited-overs series against Zimbabwe.
BCCI President Anurag Thakur
One of the two arrested persons is an official associated with one of the sponsors of the series. “This is an unfortunate incident. However, this is to clarify that no cricketer is involved in this. We are seeking Counsellor access to persons and the Indian Embassy in Harare is following up with this case and will inform the government of India of the developments,” Masakui said.
The BCCI also stepped in to clarify that none of its players or officials were involved in the alleged incident. “There is no truth in these allegations. There is no Indian cricketer or any match official involved in this. They have nothing to do with the incident. And if any individual is involved who is not a part of the BCCI or the team, we can’t comment on that,” BCCI President Anurag Thakur said.
“I just want to make it clear that BCCI employees or the match officials or even the players have nothing to do with this incident,” he added.
Official sources in India also denied the reports that set the social media abuzz yesterday. “Regarding media reports of an Indian cricketer being involved in an alleged case of rape in Harare, we have spoken to our Ambassador to Zimbabwe. The report is totally false. No Indian cricketer is involved,” the sources said.
“An Indian affiliated with one of the sponsors has been arrested. He has also denied the charge and said he is ready for a DNA test to prove his innocence. Our Ambassador is following the matter closely,” they added.