MCA's October elections won't be a hurdle to Sharad Pawar's BCCI return

Mumbai Cricket Association president Ravi Savant yesterday said that the much-awaited biennial election is unlikely to take place before October.

Sharad Pawar and (inset) N Srinivasan
Former ICC and BCCI president Sharad Pawar poses for shutterbugs at the Wankhede in 2007. PIC/Mid Day archive Inset: N Srinivasan

“At the moment it appears unlikely that they can be held before October. The audited accounts will not be ready till September,” Savant was quoted as saying by PTI.

“Things happened very fast later within the Board (BCCI) and in MCA when Prof (Ratnakar) Shetty went to court. We did not get enough time to sort out other things,” added Savant, who was recently appointed as the treasurer of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

This can be viewed as a setback for Sharad Pawar, who, reportedly is eyeing a comeback into the BCCI through MCA. Pawar, who was president of the association for eight years (2000-2008), has to represent an association in order to make a comeback into the world’s most powerful cricket Board. The BCCI elections are slated for the last week of September.

However, it is not the end of the road for Pawar if the MCA elections don’t happen before BCCI goes to the polls. Pawar, the former BCCI and ICC boss, can still get an entry into the Board if other cricket associations accept him as their representative.

A seasoned BCCI administrator said: “If Pawar is really keen to come into the BCCI, he can go to any other association and represent them in the Board.

MCA is not the only option for Pawar to get into the BCCI.” It can be recalled, in 1990 Madhavrao Scindia, who hailed from the Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association (MPCA), represented Haryana Cricket Association in order to become BCCI president from the North Zone.

Similarly, Punjab Cricket Association’s I S Bindra got a post in the Baroda Cricket Association so that he could become BCCI president from the West Zone in 1993.

However, last year the BCCI’s rotational zonal rule was done away with. According to the new rule, a presidential candidate may belong to any of the five zones (East, West, North, South and Central), but only needs to be proposed and seconded by the zone whose turn it is.

Although Savant said that Pawar has “expressed his desire to return to MCA”, he also stressed that the veteran politician in his conversations so far hasn’t shown any desire to return to the BCCI helm.

Sources closely following the MCA elections drama reckon that Pawar might be weighing his BCCI options. “Pawarsaheb might be analysing his standing in the BCCI. Unlike Narendra Modi (Gujarat Cricket Association chief), Pawar has strong ambitions in cricket administration.

He is not one who would be content representing MCA in the BCCI. He would definitely take stock of his powers in the Board. He might be seeking clarity on the support he has,” said a source. 

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