हिन्दीಕನ್ನಡമലയാളംதமிழ்తెలుగు

Tussle on for MCA presidentship

Published: Friday, November 10, 2000, 23:53 [IST]
 
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Mumbai: Mumbai Cricket Association's (MCA) attempt to hand over its presidentship to a cricketer has suffered a blow with a leading former cricketer himself bringing in Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar for January's election.MCA on Saturday confirmed that Mr Pawar is vying for the post held for the last six years by another politician Shiv Sena leader and Union minister of heavy industries Manohar Joshi.During Mr Joshi's tenure, MCA, in practical terms, remained headless as he was unable to attend all the key meetings including the ones held for fighting for its survival against Garware Club House. Lack of leadership has also stalled the much-hyped MCA extension building. In the last election, power was shared with Joshi's group and one led by present joint secretary Prof Ratnakar Shetty. Though it worked out reasonably well with Mumbai even regaining cricket supremacy, general conclusion was that MCA needed a veteran cricketer of a high stature like Ajit Wadekar to appropriately head the sports body. However, MCA was in for a shock when well-known cricketer and former captain is believed to have coaxed Mr Pawar into contesting for the post, promising him support of majority of 323 voting members. What is more surprising, according to a MCA official, is that Mr Joshi has not objected to this move though another candidate, the worthy Wadekar is his own group man and has been vice-president for two terms. Wadekar, who has adorned some of the highest cricket positions including that of captain and selection committee chairman, on Saturday stressed that he will fight it out and will not withdraw.According to Prof Shetty if Wadekar remains firm then even those of the opposition group like him will vote for him (Wadekar). He believes that some disgruntled elements who are in the bad books of MCA have misled the former captain.What has hurt most of the cricketers is that Mr Pawar at the moment, heads Garware Club, which occupies half of MCA property as a sub-tenant. MCA has spent an amount, running into lakhs of rupees, in its legal battle to take over the Club House whose members have enough money to buy the whole of Wankhede Stadium lock, stock and barrel for their own recreation. Shetty fears that if Pawar becomes MCA president then the 13 years of fight, which deprived cricket of money will evaporate. UNI

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