Binny distances himself from statement issued by 1983 WC heroes supporting wrestlers

Roger Binny
Roger Binny said that sports should not be mixed with politics. File photo: AFP/Indranil Mukherjee

Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Roger Binny on Friday said he was not a signatory to the statement on the wrestlers' protest against the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief, hours after members of the 1983 World Cup-winning cricket team voiced support for the grapplers.

Binny, who became BCCI chief in October 2022, was part of the Indian team that sealed a historic title triumph in the 1983 World Cup in England.

"Contrary to some media reports, I would like to clarify that I have not issued any statement regarding the current situation of the wrestlers' protest," said Binny. 

"I believe that the competent authorities are working on to resolve the issue. As a former cricketer, I believe that sports should not be mixed with politics," he added.

Earlier in the day, members of the 1983 World Cup-winning came out in support of the protesting wrestlers and urged them not to take any hasty decision while hoping that players' issues will be "heard and resolved".

The statement said the team was distressed and disturbed after seeing the visuals of wrestlers being manhandled but also hoped that law of the land will prevail.

Vinesh Phogat, Sakshi Malik and Bajrang Punia, who have been demanding the arrest of WFI chief Birj Bhushan Sharan Singh for alleged sexual exploitation of women wrestlers, took their protest to Haridwar on May 30 but did not carry out the threat of immersing their medals into holy river Ganga.

On May 28, the Delhi Police had detained the wrestlers for violation of law and order when they marched towards the new Parliament building without permission.

Under Kapil Dev, the Indian team had humbled the mighty West Indies to win the country's first World Cup trophy.

"I am not going to say anything individually, the whole of 1983 team stands by the statement we have issued," Kapil said.

It has been learnt that Kirit Azad, who was part of the 83 team and is now a Trinamool Congress member, sought approval only from Kapil and Madan Lal before issuing the statement.

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