IPL

Oz cricketer in hotel brawl

2012-05-18 07:52
Luke Pomersbach (File)

New Delhi - Indian police said on Friday they had arrested Australian cricketer Luke Pomersbach for allegedly molesting a woman and beating up her fiance during a late-night party at a posh New Delhi hotel.

The 27-year-old batsman, who has one international cap for Australia, is signed up in the Indian Premier League for the Royal Challengers Bangalore team, which took on the Delhi Daredevils on Thursday night.

The cricketer is accused of groping a 27-year-old American woman during an after-game party at the upmarket ITC Maurya Hotel.

"We have arrested Luke Pomersbach for assaulting a woman and beating up the fiance who objected to his action," police spokesperson Rajan Bhagat said.

Pomersbach has battled depression and drug problems and narrowly avoided a jail sentence in Australia after admitting to assaulting a police officer who was trying to arrest him for drink driving.

He arrived in India saying he was now "on top of things" after recovering from some "bad decisions", adding that he was determined to make the most of the money-spinning but scandal-plagued Indian league.

"The couple had met Luke Pomersbach at a party and they all went to a room in the hotel for drinks after the party. It is here that Luke Pomersbach assaulted the woman," investigating police officer K.C. Dwivedi said.

"The fiance tried to push the cricketer out of the room, who retaliated by hitting him in the face."

If convicted for molestation or assault, which are both bailable offences, he faces either a fine or a maximum of two years in jail.

Royal Challengers Bangalore team manager Avinash Vaidya declined to comment on the incident since "the matter was being handled by the police".

Pomersbach has not featured for Bangalore in this season's IPL, which has again hit the headlines for the wrong reasons and has being dubbed the "Indian Problem League" by one television channel.

Earlier this week, five Indian players signed to IPL teams were suspended after an undercover TV report alleged they were prepared to take money for spot-fixing, an illegal practice in which parts of the game are fixed.

On Wednesday night Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, who is co-owner of the Kolkata Knight Riders franchise, was involved in an ugly late-night row with officials at Mumbai's main stadium.

He faces a life-ban from the ground and a police investigation for allegedly abusing security staff. He denies allegations he was drunk and says he was protecting a group of children he was accompanying.

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