Days after the Indian cricket board signed up Sachin Tendulkar as its cricket advisor, Sharad Pawar is planning to rope in the former legend for a role in the Mumbai Cricket Association.
MCA president Pawar said Tendulkar has already been approached about helping budding cricketers. “Some discussions have already taken place with him (Tendulkar) about him helping out Mumbai cricket. We already have a cricket improvement committee, cricket selection committee, and if Sachin spares some time then Mumbai Cricket Association will be extremely happy. We want to use his talent and his guidance for budding cricketers,” Pawar said before addressing the first meeting of the Bal Mahaddalkar group on Saturday evening ahead of next week’s MCA elections.
Pawar is contesting for the post of MCA president after a decade and will be taking on the Shiv Sena-backed candidate Vijay Patil. Pawar said he probably would have withdrawn from the contest if Patil had given an undertaking not to demand international and IPL games to be played at the D Y Patil Sports Academy in Navi Mumbai of which Patil is the president.
“Had he given such an undertaking I probably would have withdrawn from the fray,” said Pawar. “They should have made their position clear about hosting games in DY Patil stadium. We have no objection to give practice matches, Ranji Trophy matches and other games (to DY Patil stadium). But we can’t encourage talks about giving IPL matches from which the MCA gets a few lakh rupees per match. If the match is given elsewhere then MCA will suffer financial loss. So, the main responsibility of those who want to contest elections and manage the affairs of the association must be to protect each and every part of the organisation,” the former BCCI and ICC chief said.
“If this condition would have been accepted, probably I would not have contested also,” Pawar said. The NCP chief stated that a Test match or an ODI cannot be organised at any ground as the venue has to be approved by the International Cricket Council (ICC). Mumbai has two grounds approved by ICC — the Wankhede stadium and the CCI. One cannot host a match at a venue not recognised by ICC.
Another interesting electoral battle is the fight for the vice-president’s post between two former cricketers — Dilip Vengsarkar, who is with the Pawar-Mahaddlakar group, and Abey Kuruvilla, who is part of the Patil group. Meanwhile, Republican Party of India (RPI) chief Ramdas Athvale has withdrawn his nomination for vice-president’s post.