Indian cricket team all-rounder Hardik Pandya has been dropped for the T20I series against New Zealand, starting November 19. Post this setback, Pandya has gotten into more trouble now after being accused of rape and molestation. As per reports, the complaint was filed by a lady named Rehnuma Bhati, who is the wife of notorious gangster Riyaz Bhati. The latter is reported to be a close aide of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim. Besides Pandya, IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla and former pacer Munaf Patel have also been named in the complaint.
Interestingly, Mumbai police are yet to accept the FIR as the complainant is associated with the underworld. The police have begun an investigation though. Reports add that even though the complaint was filed in September this year, the police are yet to find any evidence. Based on this, we decode nine cricketers who have been accused or convicted of rape.
- Hardik Pandya
The star Mumbai Indians all-rounder is not new to controversies and a new accusation has once again shifted the focus. Pandya, who has a child along with partner Natasa Stankovic, was one of the high-profile names mentioned by the woman, who accused her husband of forcing her to sleep with people, including Hardik. We don’t know whether these comments are baseless or have any sort of truth in them. Once the police investigate, something may come up. Pandya recently represented India in the ICC T20 World Cup but was dropped for poor form. He has also been nursing shoulder niggles of late.
2. Munaf Patel
The 2011 World Cup winner was also accused of rape by Rehnuma Bhati, who is the wife of notorious gangster Riyaz Bhati. In her complaint, Rehnuma claimed that she was forced to sleep with former Indian fast bowler Munaf Patel in a hotel room. Munaf was one of the best pacers in his heydays but has completely disappeared from cricket-related activities in the last few years.
3. Shoaib Akhtar
The former Pakistan pacer was wrongly accused of rape in 2005. The incident happened during Pakistan’s tour of Australia in 2005. According to Shoaib, there was some misunderstanding between a Pakistan player and a girl that led to him getting accused of molestation. He was suspected by everyone and he urged the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to issue a clarification but asked the authorities to not reveal the player’s name who had a misunderstanding with a girl. The governing body of Pakistan cricket had issued a clarification rubbishing the media reports of pronouncing Shoaib Akhtar guilty.
4. Makhaya Ntini
In early 1999, former SA speedster Ntini was charged and convicted of rape. Ntini, who was the first black cricketer to play for South Africa, maintained his innocence and was subsequently acquitted. He retired from cricket in 2009. Ntini played 109 Tests and took 390 wickets and 173 One-Day Internationals (ODIs) in which he scalped 266 wickets.
5. Ryan Hinds
Former West Indies cricketer Ryan Hinds was charged with raping a 28-year-old woman in late 2012. However, he was released on bail after appearing before a magistrate court in Bridgetown, Barbados. As per reports, the bail was conditional as Hinds had to surrender his passport and report to the Holetown Police Station once per week as the other conditions of his bail. In February 2014, Hinds was cleared of the sexual assault charges after the complainant informed the court that she would not be presenting evidence.
6. Luke Pomersbach
This Australian cricketer was arrested and charged with molesting a woman and assaulting her fiance in a New Delhi hotel in May 2012. Pomersbach, who represented Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), was released on bail but had to surrender his passport. Later on, the charges against him were dropped after the case settled out of court. The southpaw has had a history of getting into trouble for his drunken behaviour. He was lucky to escape jail sentence after admitting to assaulting a police officer and drunk driving too.
7. Rubel Hossain
On January 8, 2015, Bangladesh cricketer Hossain was detained after his ex-girlfriend said alleged he fraudulently promised to marry her in order to have sex.19-year-old Bazin Akter’s allegations amounted to a rape claim under Bangladeshi law. In August 2015, the Bangladesh court rejected a rape case against Rubel, after police said there was no evidence against the star cricketer, according to the lawyers.
8. Ian King
Unlike the others, former Queensland state cricketer Ian King was convicted by the ACT Supreme Court in 2012. This was in relation to more than 20 child sex charges committed in Canberra about two decades ago. King was arrested in 2008 after police received complaints from the victims. The fast bowler pleaded guilty to the offences against five boys whom he coached in junior cricket in Canberra between 1988 and 1998. One of the charges carried a potential life sentence in prison.
9. Uday Joshi
In March 2012, off-spinner Uday Joshi, who played Ranji Trophy cricket for Gujarat, Saurashtra and Railways, and County cricket for Sussex, was convicted for sexually molesting a boy more than 30 years ago. Joshi, who was 68 years old when convicted in 2012, was jailed for a period of six years. The victim was aged 13-year-old when the offences were committed. In 186 First-class matches, Joshi claimed 557 wickets.