Starting problems aplenty for Mumbai's Kanga League tournament

Mumbai's most prestigious cricket tournament is reduced to a farce as kick-off doesn't materialise despite fine weather; event takes further beating through the non-inclusion of the popular milestones section in this year's fixture book

After taking away the monsoon flavour from the Dr HD Kanga Cricket League in the rescheduling of tournaments last year, the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) this season has decided to do away with the records of the prestigious city tournament. The records section, which highlighted Mumbai's maidan cricket legacy over the decades, is not a part of the Kanga League booklet given to all affiliated clubs.

A file picture of a Fort Vijay vs MIG (Bandra) Kanga League 'A' division game at Azad Maidan last year. Pic/Shadab Khan
A file picture of a Fort Vijay vs MIG (Bandra) Kanga League 'A' division game at Azad Maidan last year. Pic/Shadab Khan

The missing records section has hurt former cricketers. Gopal Koli, who held the highest individual score of 188 runs for New Hind Sports Club before the changed format, was livid at the MCA. "How can they not include the records?" he fumed.

"It has been a tradition to have updated records. It is a prestigious tournament and we know how much efforts we took to get into the Kanga League records book. They (MCA) managed to find space to print names of all their committee members, but they could not find space for our records," Koli told mid-day.

Former India Test cricketer Madhav Apte, who holds the record for highest individual career aggregate (5046) when he played for CCI and Jolly Cricketers, was shocked at MCA's decision. "It is really surprising that they have decided to do away with the records section.

I am not saying this because my name was a part of it, but records are very important for future generation of cricketers. It serves as an inspiration to them," said Apte, who played the Kanga League for more than 50 years.

Former Mumbai ace spinner Padmakar Shivalkar remarked. "Yes, records should be maintained, but they are the bosses. They are at the helm and know what is right for the game. That (records) has happened yesterday. They are thinking about today and tomorrow," said Shivalkar, who figures amongst the top Kanga League bowlers for most wickets (564).

If the records goof up was not enough, club managers are also upset that the MCA chose to cancel the first round which was to be held last weekend. Around 30-40 friendly matches were played across Mumbai maidans on Saturday and Sunday but there were no Kanga League games.

Vengsarkar livid
Former India captain Dilip Vengsarkar was shocked to see no matches on the weekend. "I don't know about other venues, but at my academy at the Oval maidan, the pitch and ground conditions were top-class. Cricket is vanishing from the city. Mumbaikars are starved of cricket. Kanga League is just a name now.

Dilip Vengsarkar
Dilip Vengsarkar 

They should not have changed the system which has produced so many legendary cricketers. The whole purpose of playing cricket in the monsoon is lost. This is hurting Mumbai cricket badly," Vengsarkar signed off.

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