Mumbai’s loss to Jammu and Kashmir in their opening Ranji Trophy match of the 2014-15 season yesterday has saddened city cricket’s stakeholders. Anyone can lose a game of cricket. After all, both teams turn up to win, but this loss only reinforces the belief that Mumbai cricket is in the depths of despair.
The mediocre show by the Ranji Trophy team over the past two years is only one part of the problem. At the heart of the upheavals is the Mumbai Cricket Association’s (MCA) failure to continue the fine work of the administrators of yesteryear and the overall lack of commitment to look at the larger interests of cricket.
Precious little is being done to improve the standard of cricket and to ensure young cricketers get the right kind of coaching.
Probably, the most destructive factor is the number of players who are never given a chance in their respective club teams despite being talented ,and unless the player has a Godfather, he will not progress. Mumbai cricket will only be strong if there are true quality players gracing the maidans.
The administrators are fully aware of what ails Mumbai cricket but many of them won’t move towards a cure in the fear of losing out on votes. These votes mean the world to them and that is why the association, which has produced the maximum number of Test cricketers for India (70), doesn’t have many established Test players occupying key cricketing, and not just administrative positions.
Mumbai cricket will be well served if they focus on facilitating quality cricket at all levels rather than quarrelling with other associations over match allotments.
Meanwhile, raise a toast to Jammu & Kashmir. Unlike their opponents, they had no soft beds to lie on, but they showed how hard their on-field punches are.