Dilip Vengsarkar, the former Mumbai and India captain, has finally broken his silence on the decision to not contest for the much-awaited October 18 polls of the Mumbai Cricket Association.
Erstwhile vice-president Vengsarkar, who went down fighting against the late Vilasrao Deshmukh for the president’s post in the last elections in 2011, talks about his growing concern regarding cricketers staying away from MCA polls this time and his decision to stay away from the Association’s politics.
Vengsarkar however, does not rule out a comeback to the MCA. Excerpts from an interview:
After fighting hard in 2011, what made you not contest the MCA elections this time?
After being the vice-president for eight years when I gave my all to MCA administration and contesting the last elections for the President’s post, it was a tough call for sure. However, due to certain circumstances, I decided against contesting this time around.
When did you decide not to contest?
I was invited to talk on cricket and guide budding cricketers at Vancouver, Canada in September. I took the call on my return.
You had enormous support last time and this time it would have only increased had you decided to contest…
I agree. I got a lot of calls from club representatives requesting me to head the august body and I must thank them for their continued support – to me and Mumbai cricket which is very close to my heart.
How crucial was winning the last elections for you?
Extremely crucial! Not only for me, but more so for the well being of Mumbai cricket in general. I have been in administration for many years and know Mumbai cricket like the back of my palm. I felt extremely disheartened to see a non-cricketing person coming from a non-cricketing background, who neither had any clue nor interest in Mumbai cricket, win. But that’s in the past now. I prefer to look at the future.
What do you make of so many high profile politicians coming into the MCA?
Only time will tell. However, MCA needs to change its constitution and allow only those who have attended minimum four AGMs to contest elections so that they understand the running of the game and the association better like in the Maharashtra CA.
There are hardly any cricketers contesting this time. Is that a worry?
Indeed, it’s a big worry and a let-down. One doesn’t have to be an Einstein to run the game, but to take correct cricketing decisions one requires knowledge and experience of playing at the highest level.
Will you make a comeback to the MCA in the near future?
I am looking after as many as four cricket academies and thousands of future Mumbai cricketers, there is no doubt that I’ll be back — very soon.