Two Indian nationals have been arrested in Zimbabwe’s Harare after being accused of rape, but reports that they are members of the Indian cricket team are incorrect, officials confirmed on Sunday.
The reports of an Indian being involved in a rape case emerged after the cricket team suffered a two-run defeat in their opening T20 match against Zimbabwe at the Harare Sports Club on Saturday.
“This is an unfortunate incident. However, this is to clarify that no cricketer is involved in this. We are seeking consular access to the persons, and the Indian embassy in Harare is following up with this case…,” R Masakui, India’s ambassador to the African nation, said.
A second-string India are currently competing in a three-match Twenty20 series against the hosts after sweeping the ODIs 3-0.
After Saturday’s match, a Zimbabwe daily reported that a cricketer was arrested over rape allegations. Reports also said Masakui tried to prevent the player’s arrest at a Harare hotel.
The misleading reports appear to have stemmed from the Zimbabwe Republic Police’s lack of familiarity with the Indian team.
“There is no truth in this allegation. No one from the Indian team is involved in the incident,” reiterated Anurag Thakur, chairperson of the Indian cricket board.
One of the two men arrested was part of an Indian company that is contracted by Zimbabwe Cricket to engage with sponsors during incoming tours, and was in the country for the current series.
The two men appeared in court on Friday and were held in custody over the weekend. They are expected to apply for bail on Monday.
An accused denied the charges and said he was ready for a DNA test to prove innocence, sources said.