Local club nominates BJP leader as its representative to vote at AGM and polls

The voter’s list of the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) got politically heavier with another ordinary maidan club, Stylo Cricketers, nominating Gopinath Munde, BJP’s Deputy Leader in the Lok Sabha, as its representative at all meetings, including the AGM and elections, on Tuesday. He is the first high-profile BJP politician who has been drawn in the vortex of cricket politics of the city.

Ashish Shelar, close to former BJP president Nitin Gadkari and currently president of the Mumbai BJP who contested for the post of vice-president of MCA in 2011 and lost, has also expressed interest to fight the October 18 elections.

Only a day ago, the Mazgaon Cricket Club nominated Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan as its representative.

NCP supremo Sharad Pawar, who defeated the former India captain, Ajit Wadekar, in 2001 and remained the MCA president for 10 years, has announced that he will contest for the post again. He has the backing of the Bal-Mahaddalkar group as well as the Vijay Patil’s group “Cricket First.”

A handful of senior members of the MCA dodged the question as to why so many politicians are keen to take part in the administrative side of the game. One of them felt that the visibility quotient is high in cricket. Another said, “Maybe all problems related to government agencies would be easily solved.”

The fact remains that the MCA has appealed to politicians more than the other two affiliated associations of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) — the Maharashtra Cricket Association and the Vidarbha Cricket Association. The Cricket Club of India (CCI), Mumbai, is also a full member of the BCCI, and for some time the NCP’s Y.P. Trivedi was its president.

Those queuing up to the polling booth on October 18 would be Mr. Chavan and Narayan Rane of the Congress, Mr. Pawar, Sachin Ahir, Jitendra Avhad (all NCP), Mr. Munde and Mr. Shelar of the BJP, Udhav Thackeray, Aditya Thackeray, Anil Desai, Subhash Desai, Milind Narvekar, Rahul Shewale (all Shiv Sena) and Nitin Sardesai (MLA, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena).

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