Vengsarkar's MCA presidential bid suffers setback

Dilip Vengsarkar’s ambitions of contesting for the Mumbai Cricket Association’s (MCA) president post suffered a huge setback after three of his key aides — Nadeem Memon (managing committee member), Mayank Khandwala (treasurer) and Iqbal Shaikh (managing committee member) decided to join MCA vice-president Vijay Patil’s group for the elections on October 18.

Dilip Vengsarkar
Dilip Vengsarkar has still not made it clear whether he will contest the MCA polls

Sangam Lad, who was also part of the Vengsarkar group, has joined hands with Patil as well. Except for the president’s post, Patil’s panel will contest for all the posts.

Not around...
Vengsarkar, who is currently abroad, has been informed about the development, it is learnt. Amongst his cricketer friends, Balvinder Singh Sandhu and Karsan Ghavri (managing committee member) are not interested in contesting this time.

It is learnt, former India stumper and current chairman of the junior India selection committee, Chandrakant Pandit is in talks with the Bal Mahaddalkar group of which Pawar is a part of. In such a scenario Vengsarkar, the former India skipper might have to fight his own battle.

For the record, Vengsarkar has not yet officially declared whether he will contest for the president’s post for the second time. In the last elections in 2011, Vengsarkar lost to late Vilasrao Deshmukh. This time he may be pitted against former MCA, BCCI and ICC chief Sharad Pawar if he chooses
to contest.

A source said Vengsarkar’s indecisiveness could go against him. “He never gave a firm answer whenever his group members asked him about his decision to contest for the president’s post. He never opened his cards. Had he been up front, his group members would not have shifted loyalties. It is natural that his members would move out to find a new group for themselves,” the source said.

Sticky wicket
The source added that Vengsarkar is anyway batting on a sticky wicket if he decides to contest. “He has not met any voters over the last few months. He did not hold any regular meetings with his group members.”  With Vengsarkar’s most trusted pillars falling apart, it would be interesting to watch his next move. 

Abey Kuruvilla in fray for MCA post
Meanwhile, Abey Kuruvilla is all set to contest the elections. The former India pacer has decided to fight for a managing committee post from the Vijay Patil group. This will be Kuruvilla’s first attempt at fighting an election.

Abey Kuruvilla

“There is a lot of scope for improvement in the way the association is run. So, since Vijay was forming a panel, I decided to contest this time,” Kuruvilla told MiD DAY yesterday.

It can be recalled that Kuruvilla’s four-year term as Mumbai’s senior selection committee member ended abruptly after two years when the MCA named a new selection panel headed by Sudhir Naik.

Did that prompt Kuruvilla to contest the polls? “Not really. I am not contesting because I am not part of the MCA selection panel anymore. That is not my intention. I feel I can contribute something to the association since I have played the game and I am actively involved with players,” said the lanky pacer. 

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