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Give leading players voting rights: Pravin Amre

Former Test batsman and Mumbai coach, who is among the few cricketers contesting MCA elections, wants cricket to be the focus in corridors of power

Pravin Amre has the same kind of jitters as he experienced before his 1992 Test debut against South Africa in Durban. If he garners enough votes in the June 17 elections, Amre (46) will be part of the Mumbai Cricket Association managing committee.

Pravin Amre wants to get that Mumbai lion roaring again
Pravin Amre wants to get that Mumbai lion roaring again 

After a couple of years of contemplation, the former Mumbai coach finally threw his hat in the ring and is contesting from the Cricket First panel.

"I've got an offer to coach the Uttar Pradesh team and they are ready to pay me three times more than what Mumbai paid me in the last season, but I won't accept that offer. I always played for one club – Shivaji Park Gymkhana and also represent them (Amre is the current president of SPG).

"I coached only the Mumbai team for around six years. I was at home for three years, but did not accept coaching offers from other states. Now, I am ready to serve Mumbai's cricket administration, and I will concentrate on personal coaching," Amre told mid-day yesterday in the middle of a busy campaigning day.

Amre is entering into cricket administration with a clear purpose: "My sole intention is Mumbai cricket's development. Today, Mumbai needs quality cricket and not quantity.

For example, instead of having so many centres for MCA summer camps, it is important that we streamline them and have 10 centres." He continued: "The overage issue is a big concern in junior and school cricket. Many a time, the administrators don't act upon it because of the vote bank."

Amre explained why cricketers refrain from entering administration. "I had to fight for 20 years to get a voting right from Air India despite serving them for all these years. Getting a voting right for cricketers is not easy. Buying a club is not feasible because it costs crores of rupees.

"My suggestion is why not have an honorary voting right for cricketers with repute. The reason for Karnataka State Cricket Association's success is that they have given cricketers voting rights to choose the right candidates. Mumbai has so many stalwarts who are hesitant to come into administration," he said.

Like many other former cricketers, Amre too believes in going back to the old tournament structure. "There is no chance of a comeback for a cricketer if he fails to perform in Ranji Trophy.

In the earlier structure, one could make a comeback with Talim Shield, Purshottam Shield etc. Playing during monsoons helped your mind get trained to play tough cricket. I scored a century in Durban on debut because of Kanga League exposure," he concluded.

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