Should politicians block the entry of cricketers in the Mumbai Cricket Association’s biennial elections scheduled for June 17? It’s a question which should not be raised anymore since, by and large, cricketers - Test and first-class - have allied with politicians in some way to be part of groups.
There is no way to stop politicians from entering the fray because all they have to do is become associated with one of the 300-odd MCA-affiliated clubs and become a voter. Cricketers take the same route, so they are all part of the pie now.
Just like in 2013, there is no cricketer in contention for the top post which has incumbent president Sharad Pawar, current vice-presidents Vijay Patil & Ravi Savant and BJP politician Ashish Shelar in the fray. Vengsarkar was the last cricketer to challenge a politician the late Vilasrao Deshmukh in 2011 and the ex-India captain lost by 45 votes.
Being a cricket administrator, especially when it concerns a premier association like the MCA, provides power and a fair share of spotlight. But rarely do we find genuine work being done after the euphoria of winning posts dies down. Gone are the days when losing candidates still wanted to serve the game no matter how bitter the election battle was.
Not for a moment are we suggesting that Mumbai cricket was Utopia. But it was better managed. Certainly, club cricket, which was such a wholesome supply line of cricketing talent, was far better run.
Recently, the MCA announced a talent hunt scheme involving tennis ball bowlers. There is no official word from the association as to who they identified from the camps at Thane, Vasai and Bhiwandi and what will be the next course of action. That apart, no announcement has been made for trials involving tennis ball bowlers from the city a prime example of incomplete work. These blunders are too palpable to ignore.
In many ways, this is just another election. We would be happy to be proved wrong.
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