Mumbai T20 tournament suffers big blow after a top bidder withdraws

Feb 27, 2018, 15:00 IST | Harit N Joshi

One of the top bidders among the six teams withdraws from much-awaited MCA tourney

Former India batsman Pravin Amre
Former India batsman Pravin Amre

The much-awaited T20 Mumbai League which will be held from March 11 to 21, suffered a massive blow yesterday when one of its top bidders, Shree Naman Developers decided to back out. Shree Naman Developers shot an email to the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) to convey their decision. "We have received their (Shree Naman Developers) email stating that they do not wish to go ahead with the T20 league. They haven't provided any reason for their disassociation. We will now have to float a new tender to replace the team," an MCA official told mid-day yesterday.

It is learnt that Shree Naman Developers had bid R6 crore-plus to acquire the Mumbai North franchise. The MCA is mulling to either find a buyer who is willing to match the bid price of Shree Naman Developers or initiate a fresh bidding process for one team. The MCA had received only nine bids for six teams with three bids getting disqualified. Yesterday's setback is likely to force the MCA to postpone the auction which was scheduled for tomorrow. "It may be postponed by two or three days," another MCA official said.

"That's because we have to give the new owner time to understand the concept." However, the MCA officials are confident that the league will take off as per schedule. "The league will take place, there is no doubt about it," said an official. Close to 1700 players have registered for the T20 Mumbai League auction and more than 200 have registered to be coaches and members of support staff. The MCA is already facing a challenge to get their big names to play the T20 Mumbai League which clashes with the Irani Cup and T20 tri-series in Sri Lanka.

Only Pravin Amre present for CIC meeting

It was a rare occasion in MCA administration when only the chairman was present for the Cricket Improvement Committee (CIC) meeting yesterday while other members of the committee stayed away. Pravin Amre, who is the CIC chairman, conducted the meeting along with MCA's officebearers Dr Unmesh Khanvilkar (Joint Secretary) and Nitin Dalal (treasurer).

Mumbai's bowling coach Omkar Salvi and Managing Committee member Shrikant Tigdi, who was manager of the talent hunt programme for bowlers, were invitees for the CIC meeting. The only agenda was to discuss the next step for the 350 bowlers shortlisted from the talent hunt programme. Earlier this month, Amre tendered his resignation from the MCA due to conflict of interest with his role at Delhi Daredevils. The MCA is yet to accept his resignation.

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