Mumbai news February 25, 2012

Neglected MCA academy has no support staff

The Mumbai Cricket Association's academy has been virtually shut for the last seven months because of a lack of support staff, Lalchand Rajput, the chairman of the committee that oversees the academy has claimed. Built at a cost of Rs 20 crore in 2007, the indoor facility was originally supervised by the former India batsman Dilip Vengsarkar, with former India wicketkeeper Chandrakant Pandit being the director of the academy.

However Vengsarkar withdrew from the MCA after losing the election for president in July, 2011, while Pandit had to resign as director after joining the managing committee. Rajput, the former India batsman, told ESPNcricinfo that the MCA has not even appointed a replacement for Pandit yet.

"There is no support staff yet," Rajput said. "There is only one bowling coach, Pradeep Sundaram. There is no coaching director. There is no batting coach. There is no physio. There is no trainer. No video analyst. Nothing."

Rajput said he has sent eight emails to the secretaries of the MCA, but all them went unanswered. Their silence was the reason he took the matter to the press (the academy's lack of staff was first reported in the Mid-Day, a tabloid, earlier this month).

The MCA responded to Rajput's public comments by issuing a show-cause notice, asking him to explain his actions. Rajput said he would be replying to the notice in the next few days and that he didn't see why he should be criticised for airing what is his view of the situation.

While MCA officials did not respond to phone calls from ESPNcricinfo, association joint-secretary Nitin Dalal told Mid-Day that the support staff would be appointed by the end of February (India's domestic season ends in March). "The appointment of support staff at the indoor academy is on our priority list," Dalal said.

According to Dalal, the costs of hiring staff has contributed to the delay. "From this year onwards, we have started paying the support staff of various teams on a yearly basis instead of season-wise compensation," he said. "So, we had to consider those costs as well. That is why there was a delay in appointments."

Former India captain Ajit Wadekar was critical of the MCA's decision to issue a show-cause notice to Rajput. "Instead of taking concrete action, the MCA has issued show-cause notice," Wadekar said. "If you are not listening to the man who is in-charge of the academy [Rajput], then who will you listen to? It is the MCA's money in the end but it is sad to see it going down the drain in this manner.

"When you can spend hundreds of crores in refurbishing a stadium [Wankhede], why can't you do these small things?"

Additional reporting by Abhishek Purohit

Edited by Kanishkaa Balachandran

Tariq Engineer is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Moses on February 25, 2012, 18:31 GMT

    This is what happens when politicians get into cricket administration. They have no intention of developing the game. Instead, they want to loot more money and become rich and powerful. This joker Vilasrao Deshmukh was a super-flop CM. He should be banished from any public position, instead he has smartly won the MCA elections, and is now ruining the state of Mumbai cricket. Vilasrao Down Down

  • Dummy4 on February 25, 2012, 11:04 GMT

    This just shows the MCA administration's love for cricket,when a person like Vilasrao wins over a great like Vengsarkar, it really is a sad day for the game...

  • naveen kumar on February 25, 2012, 10:00 GMT

    Given that there are so many non-cricketers ahead of the these boards, especially corrupt politicians . Future is bleak. Ppl like Sunny and Shastri should care about MCA not big fat commentary jobs.

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