Former Indian cricketer and commentator Maninder Singh, arrested for procuring drugs Tuesday, has confessed consuming them, a senior official said Wednesday.
"Maninder has confessed that he was a drug addict and consumed drugs to deal with family problems. He first took drugs 10 years ago in Holland," Deputy Commissioner of Police (Narcotics) A.S. Cheema told IANS.
The Delhi Police Anti-Narcotics Cell arrested Maninder with another former cricketer, Saim Siddiqui, during a raid at his Gagan Vihar residence in east Delhi.
"They were arrested while exchanging the drugs. Maninder told us that he used to procure drugs from Siddiqui, who purchased them from a south Delhi based drug peddler," Cheema said.
Cheema added that the police would seek Siddiqui's custody to know the source of contraband.
While Maninder was arrested with one-and-a-half grams of cocaine, sleuths nabbed Siddiqui with 100 grams of marijuana.
"We were keeping a close watch on them for the past 15 days. Siddiqui lives in Vivek Vihar (in east Delhi)," a police official said.
The quantity found in Maninder's possession was below 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, Maninder 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 in New Delhi. He has to his name 88 scalps in Tests and 66 in ODIs.
Siddiqui had played for Delhi Ranji team and was currently imparting cricket coaching to children at the National Sports Club of India here.