Former India skipper Ajit Wadekar lauded the inclusion of recently-retired cricketers into the Cricket Improvement Committee (CIC) of the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) yesterday.
MCA vice-president Dilip Vengsarkar will head the CIC while Wadekar has been retained in the committee. Sanjay Manjrekar, Amol Muzumdar, Ajit Agarkar, Pravin Amre (who is also the Managing Committee member) and Deepak Patil (Managing Committee member) have also been inducted in the CIC along with former India women's cricket team captain Diana Edulji. Legendary Sachin Tendulkar will be a special invitee. "I spoke to Sachin today and he is willing to share his views on Mumbai cricket whenever he is available," Vengsarkar told reporters.
Youngsters, a boon
Wadekar (74), who is the only elder statesman in the CIC, is confident the young generation of cricketers will take Mumbai cricket to great heights. "It is a good thing to include them. They can find out what's exactly wrong with the team or the dressing room atmosphere and rectify it. They also share a good rapport with the current cricketers which will be very helpful. I am sure they will keep Mumbai cricket's flag flying. If they are able to give time and attend meetings then nothing like it. It all depends on the implementation of CIC's decisions. It wasn't the case the last time," Wadekar told mid-day.
CIC head Dilip Vengsarkar (centre) with MCA's Joint Secretaries Dr PV Shetty (left) and Unmesh Khanvilkar yesterday. Pic/Sameer Markande
Vengsarkar, however, assured that decisions taken by the CIC would stay. "It will only go for ratification in the Managing Committee," he said. The CIC will give another opportunity to Wadekar to get associated with Manjrekar, Tendulkar, Amre and Agarkar with whom he has played key roles in their playing days. Talking about Manjrekar, whom Wadekar coached, he said: "He has contributed so much to Mumbai cricket. He is spot-on with his views in commentary. Having him on the committee is great."
Amre's fighting spirit
Wadekar believes Amre will bring his fighting spirit back into Mumbai cricket. "Pravin played for my club (Shivaji Park Gymkhana). I was coach-cum-manager when he debuted in South Africa and scored that brilliant hundred in Durban. He has a fighting spirit. He is also closely associated with a lot of players due to his coaching, so it is a boon to have him as well," said Wadekar.
Regarding Tendulkar, who has had a close association with Wadekar as India selector and team manager, Wadekar said: "What can I say about him? He is a legend. It is the best thing to happen to the MCA." Meanwhile, the Dr HD Kanga League which will be now played in the monsoon in its earlier format, will start on August 2 and end on October 25.