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Vijay Patil urges Pawar not to contest for MCA President post


Mumbai: With two days left for withdrawal of nominations for the Mumbai Cricket Association polls, one of the contestants Vijay Patil, has appealed to incumbent MCA and NCP chief Sharad Pawar to withdraw from the contest.

“I have great respect for Sharad Pawar, who has held important positions in political and public life, but the time is upon him to bless my group (Cricket First),” said the outgoing vice president Patil while addressing the 330-odd member club representatives of MCA here last night at Wankhede Stadium.

Patil, as well as Pawar, have forwarded their nominations to contest for the post of the President along with two other candidates belonging to the NCP chief’s group – Ravi Savant and Ashish Shelar.

Patil, who is also the President of D Y Patil Sports Academy in Navi Mumbai which has hosted several IPL games in the past as well as Indian Super League football games, said he respected Pawar for his contribution in public life but felt it was time for others like himself to take over the reins of MCA.

“I have filed my nomination for the post of President, not to contest against him individually, but against a system that’s bereft of ideas and needs out-of-the box thinking on several aspects of running the affairs of cricket in the jurisdiction that comes under the purview of the MCA and the usage of Wankhede Stadium and multi-functional facility,” said Patil.

Tomorrow is the last date of withdrawal of nominations and, apart from Pawar and Patil, Savant – also an outgoing Vice President – and BJP MLA Shelar, have thrown their hats into the ring for the June 17 elections.

A source in Pawar’s camp told PTI yesterday that Savant and Shelar were only “dummy” candidates who would withdraw from the race tomorrow, having filed nominations for other posts too.

In the last elections, Pawar was elected unopposed but this time a contest looks imminent.

Patil’s forum has a few former cricketers like Lalchand Rajput, Pravin Amre and Abey Kuruvilla – who all have played Tests – in its fold and all of them are contesting for various posts in the upcoming MCA elections.

Former Mumbai and India opener Rajput and ex-Ranji Trophy left-arm spinner Sanjay Patil, also contesting from the ‘Cricket First’ ranks, hit out at the way MCA was being run by the ruling Bal Mahaddalkar group.

Rajput’s ire, as well as that of Patil’s, was directed at the way the local tournament calendar has been reframed by the ruling group to make the famous monsoon tournament Kanga League, to be played when the rains are on the wane instead of during peak season.

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