A letter sent by Mazgaon Cricket Club, a local club with voting rights, may have shaken the corridors of power at the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) at ‘D’ Road, Churchgate here on Monday.
The letter addressed to the Joint Secretary of the MCA said that the Maharashra Chief Minister Prithiviraj Chavan will represent the club at all meetings of the MCA from the date of submission of the letter till further information.
“I request you to kindly change the name of our representative in your record. The signature of Shri Prithviraj Chavan is attested below. Kindly update the records and acknowledge,” have said the two authorized signatories of the club, Neelam Shahalam Shaikh and Shahalam Shaikh.
The MCA has announced that the biennial elections for office-bearers and managing committee will be held on October 18 and that tomorrow (September 17) is the last date for the 330 clubs and representatives of various voting members to inform the MCA of its representative. The election process will begin in early October.
The same club was previously represented by late Vilasrao Deshmukh who defeated former India captain Dilip Vengsarkar at the elections held in 2011. After Deshmukh’s demise the MCA’s managing committee elected Ravi Savant as the president. Mr. Deshmukh was supported by Sharad Pawar who was president of the MCA for ten years and also the president of the BCCI and ICC.
Politicians across all parties - Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress - have bought clubs in the last few years. “They may have paid anywhere between Rs. 1 crore to Rs. 2. 25 crore per club,” said a very senior member of the MCA. He also said that there is some election strategy behind this move and the State CM has not done this only to meet members at AGM.
The names of Pawar and Vengsarkar have been doing the rounds as probable candidates for the MCA presidency with the politician favoured to win the election if that happened. But Chavan seems to have queered the pitch. “We have done our job of making Shri Chavan as the representative of the club. It is for him to decide whether he should run for the presidency of the MCA,” said Shahalam Shaikh.
A few days ago Vijay Patil, vice-president of the MCA and son of D.Y. Patil, governor of Bihar, declared his group’s support for Pawar. There is speculation that another senior member of another national party will also be part of the MCA and that a club will send his nomination as representative of the club on Tuesday.
Politicians Sesharao Wankhede, Manohar Joshi, Pawar and Deshmukh are the four who have been the president of the MCA in the past.