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1983 World Cup champs advise wrestlers to avoid hasty decisions

Members of the 1983 World Cup-winning cricket team have expressed concern over the possibility of wrestlers immersing their medals into the holy river Ganga as a protest. Vinesh Phogat, Sakshi Malik, and Bajrang Punia have been demanding the arrest of Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Birj Bhushan Sharan Singh for alleged sexual exploitation. The wrestlers took their protest to Haridwar on May 30 but refrained from carrying out the threatened action. The Delhi Police detained the wrestlers on May 28 for violating law and order during a march towards the new Parliament building. The police action has faced criticism from various quarters.

In a statement, the 1983 World Cup-winning team expressed distress over the treatment of the wrestlers and their potential decision to discard their hard-earned medals. The statement emphasized the significance of the medals, representing years of effort, sacrifice, and national pride. The team urged the wrestlers not to make any hasty decisions and hoped for a quick resolution to their grievances while upholding the rule of law.

Kapil Dev, the captain of the 1983 cricket team, echoed the team’s statement and expressed his solidarity. Former Indian cricketers such as Sunil Gavaskar, Mohinder Amarnath, and Anil Kumble have also shown support for the wrestlers. However, active cricketers are yet to comment on the controversy. Olympic champion Neeraj Chopra and shooter Abhinav Bindra have expressed their anguish over the treatment of the wrestlers and their demands for justice.

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