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Out Of Focus: MCA slam Rajput's comments, ignore Mumbai failures

Instead of discussing Mumbai's Vijay Hazare Trophy debacle, MCA questions newly-appointed coach Lalchand Rajput's scathing comments to mid-day

The first thing that ought to have been discussed during the Mumbai Cricket Association's Managing Committee Meeting, which met for the first time on Tuesday after the team's abject surrender in the Vijay Hazare ODI Trophy in Rajkot earlier this month, was why they fared so badly.

Lalchand Rajput
Lalchand Rajput 

Instead, some MCA officials ended up questioning newly-appointed coach Lalchand Rajput's scathing comments to mid-day that were carried by the paper on March 5.

"Instead of discussing what went wrong in the one-day tournament and finding remedial measures, some MCA members questioned Rajput for slamming the team in the press," an MCA source told mid-day.

The meeting was called to discuss the ongoing Corporate T20 tournament and there was nothing on the agenda to discuss Mumbai's debacle in Vijay Hazare Trophy where they managed to win only one of their four games.

The source said Rajput did not flinch and gave it back to the members who were raising the issue for talking to the press. "It was quite a heated argument between them. First of all, the members did not have any credentials to question Rajput like this.

"He did not hold back too. He slammed those members who come to a meeting only to pull down another member rather than constructively discuss an issue. Rajput told them to come with an open mind for discussions.

Rajput's interview on March 5
Rajput's interview on March 5 

"What's happening is that members of the same group meet before the meeting commences and get a consensus over any issue. This virtually rules out any scope of a healthy discussion in the meeting.

During the meeting, Rajput asked members to broaden their thinking for the betterment of Mumbai cricket. He said it was important to make these players realise where they lack," the source said.

Internal matter: Dalal
However, MCA's joint honorary secretary Nitin Dalal said it's an internal matter of the association. "We would not like to discuss such things in the public. He's submitted a report," said Dalal.

The former India cricketer and coach Rajput, who is also a Managing Committee member, has been given charge till the end of the season after Sulakshan Kulkarni was shunted after the 40-time champions slumped to a shock quarter-final exit in the Ranji Trophy.

Rajput, who is currently the India 'A' coach, came down heavily on Mumbai players' attitude and selection over certain players after exiting from the Vijay Hazare Trophy. "It was really shocking. We showed very poor standards.

Some players froze in certain situations. Some players lacked basics. There were some guys who lacked temperament and shouldn't have been there. Mumbai's cricket is at an all-time low," Rajput had told mid-day.

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