Harare, June 19: A massive controversy hits Indian cricket team on Zimbabwe tour after a member of the team's contingent was arrested on Friday for allegedly harrassing a local woman, a local news website reported.
The storm erupted after the Zimbabwean wesite New Zimbabwe reported that an unnamed Indian cricketer had been arrested on charges of rape.
"The victim has pointed an Indian national from the batch that came in last week, at this point I'm not in the position to reveal whether it's a player or official as I'm bound by law. But, what I can confirm is that the accused appeared in court on Saturday," she further added.
"We have concluded our investigation, but both the police and courts have to handle the issue with care as it can lead to a potential diplomatic feud."
However, official sources in India denied the report, stating that the person arrested was in fact affiliated to one of the sponsors of the ongoing limited-overs series.
Arrested person is not Indian cricketer: MEA
Sources in the Ministry of External Affairs while refuting media reports that an Indian cricketer was involved in an alleged rape case in capital Harare said, "We have spoken to our Ambassador to Zimbabwe. The report is totally false. No Indian cricketer is involved."
Reports confirmed that the arrested individual was not a cricketer but an Indian affiliated with one of the sponsors.
India's High Commissioner to Zimbabwe is trying to resolve the matter:
The reports stated that India's ambassador to the African nation, R Masakui, had tried to prevent the player's arrest last night at a Harare hotel.
Harare Police didn't name the individual:
The Harare police did not name the individual, but confirmed that it was an Indian national from the same hotel in which MS Dhoni-led side is staying at.
Report is false, no Indian cricketer involved: Sources on reports of an Indian cricketer being involved in an alleged case of rape in Harare— ANI (@ANI_news) June 19, 2016
An Indian affiliated with one of the sponsors arrested,he denied the charge & said he is ready for a DNA test to prove his innocence:Sources— ANI (@ANI_news) June 19, 2016
Our ambassador in Zimbabwe following matter closely:Sources on reports of an Indian cricketer being involved in alleged rapecase in Zimbabwe— ANI (@ANI_news) June 19, 2016
The accused, associated with one of the sponsors of the series, has denied the charges and has offered to undergo a DNA test.
The website has levelled series allegations such as the victim could have been drugged before being abused by the 'cricketer'.
BCCI has refused to comment:
The BCCI, on its part, refused to comment, claiming that it is yet to ascertain the exact facts of the issue.
"We are keeping a close watch on the development. It is a serious issue. Being aware of the sensitive nature of the issue, the BCCI won't make comments without ascertaining facts," said a top Board official on condition of anonymity.
The Indian cricket team is in Zimbabwe for T20 and One-Day International (ODI) series.
(With inputs from agencies)