Shiv Sena supremo Uddhav Thackeray attacked incumbent president of the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) Sharad Pawar for making the association's state-of-the-art facilities inaccessible to cricketers of Mumbai. MCA, under Pawar's leadership, built facilities at the Bandra Kurla Complex and Kandivali.
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Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray with Vijay Patil arrives to meet voters ahead of tomorrow’s MCA elections. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar
"I have no doubt that they (BKC and Kandivali clubs) are excellent, but is every aspiring cricketer allowed to access that? You take land from the government at a subsidised rate and then give it to a private developer to develop it. This is something I have an objection to and I will keep opposing this.
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Then, why use MCA's name. Let it be Pawar and private company. MCA has become a commercial market," Thackeray said in his address to the Cricket First panel which has the support of Shiv Sena going into the June 17 polls.
Must step in
He agreed that sports and politics shouldn't be mixed. "But you have to step in when a politician takes control of the association for decades. Great cricketers like Gavaskar, Tendulkar have retired, but the president is still batting with his pads on. He has played a number of innings, but his score is still zero," Thackeray said while hitting out against Pawar's long stint with the MCA.
"I am backing this panel because I see genuinely good people in it. They have a roadmap and direction for Mumbai's cricket. I didn't want to remain a commentator. I also want Mumbai cricket to flourish," added Thackeray flanked by his son Aditya, who played local cricket in Mumbai.