After four years, the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) elections will be contested for all posts.
The picture became clearer on Saturday (the last date to withdraw nominations for the June 17 biennial elections) that Sharad Pawar and Dr Vijay Patil will slug it out for the president’s post.
Dr Vijay Patil
In 2013, Pawar was re-elected as MCA chief unanimously after an eight-year stint from 2001 to 2008. This time, however, the veteran politician will have to face a stiff challenge from Dr Patil, who has the backing of Shiv Sena.
Patil created history in the 2011 elections by becoming the first independent candidate to clinch a vice-president’s post. In the next elections (2013), he garnered the most number of votes for the same post. Can he recreate the magic against Pawar? Only time will tell.
Meanwhile, the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) chief of Mumbai Ashish Shelar, who was also vying for the top post, had to settle for the vice-president’s post. He will contest along with former India skipper Dilip Vengsarkar from the Bal Mahaddalkar group. They have competition in the form of Cricket First candidates — Abey Kuruvilla (former India pacer and junior selector chief) and Shiv Sena MLA Pratap Sarnaik.
Shiv Sena’s Member of Parliament Rahul Shewale, who had also filed his nomination for the vice-president’s post, will now contest for a Managing Committee seat.
Athawale pulls out
Republican Party of India chief Ramdas Athawale pulled out of the vice-president’s race. Nitin Dalal, the present Joint Secretary, has decided to contest for the honorary Treasurer’s post with Cricket First candidate Mayank Khandwala.
For the two Joint Secretary posts, one can expect a close fight between Bal Mahaddalkar candidates Ravi Savant and Dr PV Shetty and Cricket First’s Lalchand Rajput, India’s 2007 World T20-winning coach, and Dr Unmesh Khanvilkar, who missed out on the same post by a whisker in the 2013 elections. Twenty two candidates will vie for the 11 Managing Committee seats.