Former cricketer Maninder Singh, Nigerian drug peddler arrested


New Delhi : Former Indian cricketer Maninder Singh was arrested along with a Nigerian national suspected to be a drug peddler and a quantity of cocaine recovered from their possession during a raid in his east Delhi house late Tuesday.

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The former cricketer was arrested while accepting a drug delivery from the Nigerian, identified as Sayan Siddique, police said.

Sleuths of Delhi Police' Anti-Narcotics Cell were interrogating Maninder and Siddique at the Shakarpur police station in east Delhi.

Additional Commissioner of Police (Crime) Muktesh Chander and Deputy Commissioner of Police (Narcotics) A.S. Cheema were interrogating the duo.

The arrest was made after police conducted raids at Maninder's east Delhi residence in Preet Vihar. Police recovered one-and-a-half grams of cocaine from the duo.

"We were keeping a close watch on them for the past 15 days. Siddique lives in Vivek Vihar of east Delhi," a senior police official told IANS.

The amount found on Maninder's possession was under the three-gram mark, which generally falls under the personal consumption category. But the presence of a drug peddler at his house has raised the question about his possible involvement in a larger drug nexus.

Maninder represented India in 35 Test matches and 59 One-Day Internationals. With his slow left-arm orthodox spin, he was considered an heir to Bishan Singh Bedi, who then held the record as India's leading spinner in terms of wickets.

Though now retired from active cricket, he is still connected with the game as commentator.

Maninder played international cricket for India for 11 years. He made his Test debut against Pakistan in 1983 at Karachi. His ODI debut, also in the same year, was against Zimbabwe at New Delhi. He has to his name 88 scalps in Tests and 66 in ODIs.