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From club cricket to IPL: Chandila’s rise grabbed eyeballs

May 16
04:03 2013

iplNEW DELHI: Before taking a hat-trick against Pune Warriors in the last edition of IPL, there wasn’t much information available on Ajit Chandila’s cricketing credentials save that he was a ‘club-level’ off-spinner who plied his trade in ‘Hot Weather’ tournaments across Delhi.

The lanky off-spinner grabbed a lot of eyeballs when Rajasthan Royals decided to field him in the playing XI.

Haryana, the state he represents in domestic cricket, didn’t find him fit enough to play more than two Ranji Trophy games back in 2010, after his action came under scanner and he was sent for correction at the NCA

There were a lot of questions raised about how he landed an IPL contract.

“He used to be a decent club cricketer. He would play for Air India in Hot Weather tournaments like Lala Raghubir, Om Nath Sood etc. One never thought that he will land an IPL contract. He got a hat-trick, but trust me, lot of people thought that he was an over-achiever,” a DDCA official, who has seen Chandila for the past decade told PTI.

“He is above 30 now (Cricinfo says 29 years and 162 days) and it was certainly surprising when a near-30 club cricketer gets an IPL contract out of nowhere.”

A resident of Faridabad, Chandila has played for non descript clubs like Hari Singh Cricket Academy in Ghaziabad, Kishengunj Club for measly sums like Rs 1500, 2000 per match.

Interestingly, some seven years back in 2006, Chandila was playing for Taltala Institute in Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB)’s second division league.

“He got a payment of around Rs 2000 per match and accommodation as he was an outstation cricketer. He was one of the many who came from Delhi and NCR region to make some quick money playing club cricket,” recollected a CAB official. Since his arrest, officials and club cricketers who have played alongside him don’t want to come on record.

There is information about how he developed connections with a lot of top players as he had a side business of “supplying sports gears of renowned brands.”

Chandila is also a wholesaler of cricket shoes and T-shirts and had the contract to supply gear to some of the big cricket academies in Delhi including the one run by a former wicketkeeper who is also a support staff of one of the IPL franchise.

“He is not a bad guy but he is what we call a “jugadoo” in north Indian lingo (master arranger). He could arrange club contracts for players in no time and has always been a smooth talker,” a cricketer, who has played alongside Chandila in Hot-Weather tournaments, said.-PTI



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