Shah Alam, secretary of the Mazgaon Cricket Club, who urged Vilasrao Deshmukh to make an entry into Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) several years ago, was shocked at the news of the former Maharashtra CM’s death.
Alam had developed a good rapport with Deshmukh during his association with Maharashtra Youth Congress. “He was excited when I discussed plans for him to become a part of MCA. He took a week’s time before signing the papers as a Mazgaon Cricket Club representative (in the MCA) in 2008,” Alam told MiD DAY.
Alam said Deshmukh had no reservations in joining a small club. “He knew me since many years. He was well aware of our club, so when he decided to enter MCA, he wasn’t hesitant in choosing Mazgaon Cricket Club,” said Alam.
Alam revealed Deshmukh’s dream project was to start MCA academies in Mumbai’s far-off suburbs. “There were a few things in the pipeline like starting cricket academies in Goregaon, Badlapur, Panvel and Virar for children from the economically weaker sections of society to get the best cricketing facilities. In fact, talks for acquiring land in Badlapur are in the final stages.
His aim was to take cricket to everyone, but I guess God’s wish was something else. He wanted to make a mark for himself in MCA. He was like a father figure to many of us,” he concluded.
Meanwhile, MCA treasurer Ravi Savant told MiD DAY that a new president would not be elected immediately. “It is too early to comment on who will be the new president. Let a few days pass. We will discuss it in the managing committee,” he said.