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MCA slammed for showcause notice to Rajput

Lalchand Rajput

Mumbai cricket's stalwarts Ajit Wadekar and Shishir Hattangadi have lashed out at the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) for issuing a showcause notice to Lalchand Rajput on Friday for his remarks against the indoor cricket academy at the Bandra Kurla Complex to this newspaper.

Wadekar said the MCA should not waste time in issuing showcause notice, but take immediate steps to resolve the issue. "It's a waste of time to issue a showcause notice. "Instead, the association should act on the issue immediately. Our indoor academy is the first of its kind in the country, but it is sad to learn that it is virtually non-functional at the moment. It is absolutely senseless not to utilise such a great facility.

"In fact, Rajput should be praised for bringing this into public light. After all, people follow cricket passionately," the former India captain told MiD DAY yesterday.

Virtually shut
In MiD DAY's February 4 edition, Rajput, who is chairman of the subcommittee for the MCA indoor academy, revealed how the R 20 crore state-of-the-art academy is virtually shut as there was no support staff appointed by the MCA for the last nine months.

"The academy is non-existent at the moment. Players come and practice. There is no one to guide them and help them improve their skills," a furious Rajput said. "Being a cricketer, it hurts when such magnificent facilities are lying idle. It is high time the MCA gives priority to cricketing activities over other things," he had remarked.

Former Mumbai captain Hattangadi said it is important to act on the core issue. "What is important -- the functioning of the cricket academy or the showcause notice? For me, it is the game, which holds priority. It is about appointing the right personnel to run the academy in a desired way above anything else.

Core issue
"The core issue is cricket, and we should not side-step it. We should start worrying about our cricket. The MCA should find out the real reason behind this problem and resolve it quickly," said Hattangadi.

Wadekar and Hattangadi believed Rajput must have said everything out of frustration. "Cricketers are always passionate about the game. When nothing happened for nine months, in spite several reminders, it is bound to be frustrating," Wadekar said.

MCA joint secretary Nitin Dalal did not wish to comment on the issue.

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