It appears Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) received a raw deal at the 84th Annual General Meeting of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in Chennai yesterday.
Barring Ravi Savant (MCA president) and Nitin Dalal (joint secretary), no other officials were included in any of the important committees. While Savant, who was the interim treasurer after Ajay Shirke resigned, was named the Board’s vice-president from West Zone and umpires sub-committee chairman, Dalal was retained as West Zone’s representative in the Tour Programme and Fixtures Committee headed by Rajeev Shukla.
The biggest setback for Mumbai was the ouster of Chandrakant Pandit as chairman of the junior India selection committee after just one year of his appointment. Baroda’s former India batsman Connor Williams replaced the former India stumper.
Pandit, an MCA managing committee member, refused to comment, but was certainly surprised by his ouster. It is learnt that Pandit did not get any backing from the MCA officials present in Chennai. “Everybody was busy in their own campaigning. Nobody raised any objection when Pandit was removed,” an MCA source said.
In the media committee, Vinod Deshpande, the MCA vice-president, was replaced by Gujarat’s Anil Patel as the West Zone representative after competing his four-year term. It is not known whether Dr PV Shetty, MCA joint honorary secretary, retained his place in the marketing sub-committee (BCCI’s release said that the list of all committees would be uploaded on their website today).
Giving less importance to Mumbai in the running of the Board could well be a political move because the likelihood of Sharad Pawar making a comeback into cricket administration through MCA’s October 18 polls may not be something the big wigs of the BCCI will be comfortable with.
A certain section in the MCA feels Savant played into N Srinivasan’s hands. According to them, Srinivasan first took Savant on his side by making him the Treasurer and Savant delayed the MCA elections to keep Pawar away from the BCCI AGM. The delay in MCA elections also meant that Savant was in a better position to retain his BCCI Treasurer’s post. However, these are all theories.
“Apart from two (Savant and Dalal) no MCA official is part of any important committee. Nor has Savant been able to hold on to his Treasurer’s post. It’s a total loss to us,” said an MCA source.
Challenge for Savant
“I have never asked for anything. I was made the Treasurer in time of a crisis and I happily took over. Being Vice-President (of BCCI) is also a matter of prestige for me. Heading the Umpires Committee is a challenging task. My aim would be to get Indian umpires on the ICC panel. This is one area where we need to work hard. I am very happy with whatever responsibilities I have been entrusted with,” Savant told MiD DAY from Chennai.
The big question now is whether MCA will get the nod to host Sachin Tendulkar’s 200th Test at the Wankhede Stadium. It is learnt that this issue was not discussed at the AGM. MiD DAY learns that though it seems only apt for Wankhede to host the Test, there will be stiff resistance from other states. If MCA lose that battle, there could be more gloom and the theorists will have a field day.