Dilip Vengsarkar slammed the Mumbai Cricket Association's (MCA) decision to sack Chandrakant Pandit as Cricket Improvement Committee (CIC) chief after holding the post for only eight months.
The weeks of speculation (MiD DAY first reported on March 15) finally came true when the former India stumper was relieved from his post during the Managing Committee meeting on Saturday. MCA bigwigs were upset with Pandit for joining the Rajasthan Cricket Association as Director on a three-year lucrative contract.
"We (MCA) have decided to relieve Mr Pandit from the CIC post as many felt his credibility was at stake. How can one do justice to both associations at the same time? We had given him time to consider this matter," said Ravi Savant, MCA treasurer.
Vengsarkar, the association's former vice-president, said the decision to sack Pandit goes against Mumbai's cricket and would hurt them big time. "Pandit has been one of the most efficient coaches and administrators of Mumbai cricket. He did a fantastic job as Director of the MCA indoor academy.
"I was part of the CIC for 12 years, but I have never seen anyone calling for meetings every month (eight meetings in as many months). He knows Mumbai's cricket inside out. The decision to sack Pandit will hurt our cricket big time," Vengsarkar told SUNDAY MiD DAY.
The former India skipper is not surprised as Pandit's sacking. "It is not shocking at all," said Vengsarkar, who was pipped by seasoned politician Vilasrao Deshmukh for the president's post in the MCA elections last year.
"What can we expect from a President (Vilasrao Deshmukh), who has no clue about cricket or about Mumbai's rich legacy. The President should have attended at least one CIC meeting to see how things function," said the Mumbai stalwart.
Vengsarkar said sacking Pandit was the convenient way. "If they feel there is conflict of interest in Pandit's case, then they should also look at Prof Ratnakar Shetty who is employed (Chief Administrative Officer) with the BCCI. It is sad that cricketers are targeted in such manners. MCA voters should think hard when they elect someone next time," Vengsarkar signed off.
No action against Rajput
Meanwhile, the MCA decided not take any action against Lalchand Rajput, chairman of the sub-committee for the MCA indoor academy at the Bandra Kurla Complex, for his comments to this newspaper. "The Managing Committee has decided not to take any action against Lalchand Rajput, but asked the President (Vilasrao Deshmukh) to speak to him and ensure it doesn't happen again," said Ravi Savant, MCA treasurer.
The former India cricketer was slapped with a showcause notice following his interview to MiD DAY on February 4 when Rajput revealed how the R20 crore state-of-the-art academy was virtually shut as there was no support staff appointed by the MCA for the last nine months. The MCA is awaiting a report from vice-president Vijay Patil to decide on the need to appoint support staff at the academy.