Mr Athawale, who was in Nagpur on Saturday, told reporters that there should be 25 per cent reservation for Dalits in the Indian cricket team.
Mumbai: The Union minister of state for social justice, Ramdas Athawale, has blamed the Indian cricket team’s recent lack of success on inadequate representation of Dalits and tribals in the team and demanded reservation to remedy this. He also called for a probe into India’s performance in the finals of the recently concluded Champions Trophy against arch-rivals Pakistan as it appeared to be ‘fixed’.
Mr Athawale, who was in Nagpur on Saturday, told reporters that there should be 25 per cent reservation for Dalits in the Indian cricket team. Commenting on the Indian team’s defeat to Pakistan last month, he said. “The Indian team lost badly. It was number one before this sudden defeat. People are speculating whether the match was fixed or not. It was a very humiliating defeat. If players are losing their confidence, they should not be retained. Therefore, there should be reservation for Dalits and tribals in the team,” he said.
Expressing support for a separate Vidarbha state, Mr Athawale assured the people of Nagpur that he would speak with the Prime Minister on the matter. “The demand for a separate Vidarbha has been there for a long time. The chief minister also belongs to the region... The people of Nagpur keep complaining that their region has remained undeveloped,” he told reporters. Earlier, this year, BJP MP Udit Raj had made a similar demand and Mr Athawale had supported him.