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Fairness should rule Mumbai cricket

What ails Mumbai cricket, is an often-asked question even as the city has won the Ranji Trophy 40 times, the last triumph coming in the season gone by.

Yes, winning the national championship with extraordinary regularity does not reflect a rosy scene in city cricket. Club cricket is in a pile of dirt while the overall development of cricketers is nowhere near to what it was two decades ago.

Last week, a list of new appointees to various coaching posts emerged at the completion of a managing committee meeting. The list did not get ratified and rightfully, it was differed since the issue deserves more discussion.

Cricket pundits in Mumbai reckoned the suggested list of coaches and selectors was linked to votes for the elections to be held in August. Going by the list, Abey Kuruvilla, who is chairman of the senior selection committee, will not serve another term while Vilas Godbole, who successfully coached the Mumbai under-25 team would be replaced by Deepak Patil, a member of the MCA managing committee.

The list had former Test batsman Sudhir Naik heading the panel. Now, Naik has done splendidly well as a pitch expert at the Wankhede Stadium and other centres in the West Zone, but it cannot be said that he has done enough work to merit a chief selector’s post.

Some in the MCA reckon that Kuruvilla has ended his term, while another group says he still has a year after replacing Sandeep Patil as chief selector when the India chairman quit.

Whatever the case, this is the same Kuruvilla, who the MCA promoted as a candidate to become a national selector before Patil was handpicked for the job by the bigwigs of the BCCI. Kuruvilla’s is just one of the many weird cases which block justice in the corridors of the MCA.

The association’s president Ravi Savant has indicated that he wants to run a tight ship. That dream will not eventuate if his cricket body leaks of ulterior motives and examples of injustice. Until then, cricket lovers in the city will continue to ask, ‘What ails Mumbai cricket?’ 

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