Probe ordered into ’sexual exploitation’ of women cricketers

June 23rd, 2009 - 7:28 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, June 23 (IANS) The Andhra Pradesh government Tuesday ordered probe into allegations that suspended secretary of Andhra Cricket Association (ACA) V. Chamundeswarnath sexually exploited women cricketers.
State Home Minister P. Sabita Indra Reddy ordered a special officer to look into the complaints that Chamundeswarnath sought “sexual favours” from women cricketers for selection.

The special officer will also probe allegations of corruption against Chamundeswarnath, who was manager of Indian women’s team at Twenty20 World Cup.

The home minister announced the probe when a group of six women cricketers from Andhra met her and complained about Chamundeswarnath, who was suspended as the ACA secretary last week following allegations against him.

The women cricketers alleged that the former ACA official also misbehaved with them, and demanded stern action against him.

“As a secretary he had no role in training camps but he comes there. He once took me to the gym, saying he would help in training, though it was not his job. He also made lewd comments,” alleged Durga Bhavani, one of the cricketers who met the home minister and submitted a complaint.

Meanwhile, Chamundi, as Chamundeswarnath is known among cricketing circles, has sought police protection, saying he feared threat to his life from ACA president Gokaraju Gangaraju and other office-bearers of the association.

Chamundi, a man with good influence in the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), has denied the allegations.

He alleged that he was removed as ACA secretary under a conspiracy hatched by Gangaraju and Narayanaswamy, another office-bearer of the association. He sought protection two days after he returned from England.

The row started when a club affiliated to the ACA lodged a complaint against Chamundi with the ACA president, who ordered probe by a six-member panel.

Savita Kumari, former captain of Andhra women’s cricket team, also lodged a complaint with the ACA accusing Chamundi of misbehaving with women players during training camps.

It was after these written complaints and probe by six-member panel that the ACA at its executive committee meeting last Thursday decided to place Chamundi under suspension. He was also accused of misuse of funds.

Following allegations against Chamundi, Purnima Rao resigned as coach of Andhra women cricket team and consultant with the ACA June 20. She said she had no idea of the activities of Chamundi.

Chamundi, who represented Andhra in 44 first class matches, has been acting as the secretary of the ACA since July 2007.

Andhra Pradesh has two crickets association - Hyderabad Cricket Association and Andhra Cricket Association. The women cricketers in Andhra region come under the ACA.

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