Prof Ratnakar Shetty all set to take on Ravi Savant in AGM

Oct 18, 2013, 00:47 IST | Harit N Joshi

TODAY'S 85th Annual General Meeting of the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) is likely to be an extended war of words between seasoned administrators Ravi Savant and Prof Ratnakar Shetty.

Shetty, who for the first time since 1996 cannot contest for MCA polls after a recent amendment of the Association barring permanent employees of the Board of Control for the Cricket in India (BCCI) from contesting, revealed the issues he is going to take up in the AGM.

Ratnakar Shetty and Ravi Savant
Ratnakar Shetty and Ravi Savant

“To begin with, office clubs are facing difficulties with the restructured tournament format that has been introduced. A provident fund company Bhavishya Nidhi has withdrawn from Times Shield ‘C’ division as their office has refused to give seven weeks leave for league matches.

More teams will slowly withdraw because banks and other institutions are finding it difficult to release people on weekdays for matches.

When the revision of tournaments was decided, it should have been debated,” said Shetty, taking a clear pot shot at MCA chief Savant, the brainchild behind the tournament restructuring. Shetty also batted for maidan clubs’ welfare.

“Both office and maidan clubs are struggling with financial expenses due to the increased number of matches they have to play. The ground and umpire charges have both increased. For clubs to run efficiently, their interests must be protected,” Shetty said.

Shetty will also appeal for clarity on a report alleging a software contract going to a company with which Savant’s daughter is allegedly associated. Shetty, who recently dragged MCA to court challenging his five-year ban and the election amendment, is also set to question the body’s expenses incurred in legal battles.

“There was a time when the indoor academy (at BKC) did not function for almost a year due to shortage of funds. Today, MCA is spending Rs 50-60 lakh on court cases some of which are against its own members,” he said.

The removal of Chandrakant Pandit (chairman of junior India selectors) and curator Sudhir Naik (from BCCI’s West Zone Ground and Pitch committee) by the BCCI is also set to be discussed.

“Our BCCI vice-president (Savant) must explain on what grounds they were removed. We (in the BCCI staff) have been blamed for not speaking about it in the AGM. But that’s a joke because in fact it’s the BCCI members who have the right to discuss these things,” Shetty, who is BCCI’s General Manager game development, said.

Other issues likely to be discussed are the leaked inquiry report looking into the 405 unsold tickets of the 2011 World Cup final and the Cricket Club of India getting BCCI’s direct nod to host international matches again. 

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