Decision taken! Sharad Pawar to contest BCCI polls

Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) president Sharad Pawar has decided to contest the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) elections on March 2, thus putting an end to the suspense.

Sharad Pawar
Sharad Pawar 

Although the Nationalist Congress Party chief told reporters in New Delhi yesterday that he is "still undecided and not eager" to contest the BCCI polls, MCA officials confirmed to mid-day that Pawar, who headed the Board from 2005 to 2008 before taking over the ICC reigns, is all set to contest.

Pawar's nomination as an MCA representative for the BCCI Annual General Meeting that will be held in Chennai, was sent yesterday. Sunday is the final day to submit the nominations and

withdrawals. It is learnt, Pawar with some key MCA officials will fly to Chennai today to begin his preparation for the much-awaited cricket Board's election, and thereby postponing MCA's Managing Committee to March 3.

"A lot of associations have showed confidence in Mr Pawar's leadership after it became clear that N Srinivasan (BCCI chief in exile) will not be able to contest due to the Supreme Court's order. It is a known fact that Mr Pawar does not contest unless he is sure of winning," said a top MCA official.

On Monday, Srinivasan was slammed by the Supreme Court for presiding over the February 8 Working Committee meeting, ignoring the order that he cannot be the BCCI boss until he clears himself from the conflict of interest issue.

Tight-lipped officials
MCA officials are tight-lipped over who will propose and second Pawar's candidature for the BCCI presidentship which will be made from the East Zone this time.

As far as the numbers game is concerned, the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) is expected to play a key role in influencing 10 to 12 votes of the various government bodies.

It is understood that Pawar has been wooing key BJP leaders who will help him tilt the scales in his favour.

Pawar, who was a Union minister in the previous Congress-led government, also invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi to his constituency Baramati recently, lending more truth of his proximity with the BJP.

It can be recalled, Pawar had immediately announced NCP's support to BJP in forming the Maharashtra government and had given the historic Wankhede Stadium free of cost for the swearing-in ceremony.

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