The head coach of women’s cricket team of the Baroda Cricket Association was suspended on Saturday followed by allegations of sexual harassment. The BCA secretary informed about a probe committee to be formed to look into the matter.
What are the allegations?
A suspension was announced by the Baroda Cricket association against Atul Bedade, the head coach of its women’s cricket team after few senior players raised voice against him. His misbehaviour and sexual harassment during the Women’s Senior One-day Tournament in Himachal Pradesh last month was reported against him. Earlier Bedede has coached the Baroda men’s team as well before taking the responsibility of the women’s team a year back.
A letter from the Baroda Cricket Association (BCA) to Bedade had no list of specific allegations against him as viewed and reported by the ESPNcricinfo as such. But it mentioned the phrases like “Personal comments on physicality”, “Comments that discourage the morale of team members”, “Angry outbursts unbecoming of a women’s team coach and using unparliamentary language that is not accepted of a person in-charge”, and “Behaviour oblivious of gender sensitivity”.
The BCA secretary Ajit Lele confirmed the news to PTI saying, “Yes, he is being suspended with immediate effect pending inquiry by probe committee having one neutral member from outside BCA.”
Regarding the probe committee, a source said, “It is standard practice (suspension) after you receive a complaint of sexual harassment.” While asked about the same by the ESPNcricinfo, Lele informed that a probe committee by the association’s apex committee would be formed to understand and investigate the whole situation. Amid the pandemic outbreak he failed to mention any specific date or deadline fo the same
Bedade who played 13 ODIs in 1994 for the Indian team to score just 158 runs at an average of 22.57 told ESPNcricinfo, “This has come to me as a surprise. This is all baseless and false allegations. I will put my side [forward] soon.”