Pawar files for MCA president's post
For the first time in almost a decade and a half, Sharad Pawar, former BCCI and ICC president, will contest an election for the president's post of his home turf, the Mumbai Cricket Association. Former India captain Dilip Vengsarkar has returned to the ruling Bal Mahaddalkar panel and has filed nomination papers for one of the two vice-presidents' posts.
On Tuesday, the last day of filing nomination papers, Vijay Patil, an incumbent vice-president and chief of Cricket First, the opposition group in MCA, submitted his nomination for the president's post against Pawar for the elections to be held on June 17. Patil's group has been supported by Shiv Sena, the political party that is a part of the state government.
With Pawar, chief of the Nationalist Congress Party, enjoying a healthy relationship with Patil and Shiv Sena, Patil may withdraw his nominations before June 13, the last date for withdrawals. He would then seek re-election as vice-president for the third term in succession.
If Patil withdraws his nomination for vice-presidency and ends up contesting against Pawar, it will be the first time Pawar will be involved in an MCA election since defeating former India captain Ajit Wadekar in 2001. It was when Pawar had entered into the cricket administration fray. Of the seven biennial terms since then, barring the one from 2011 to 2013 when Pawar handed over the reins to another political heavyweight late Vilasrao Deshkmukh, Pawar was elected unopposed every time he filed his nomination papers.
Meanwhile, Vengsarkar, who had contested against Deshmukh in 2011 with an agenda of not allowing politicians to run MCA, has joined hands with the Mahaddalkar panel and earned a vice-president's ticket. Ravi Savant, an incumbent vice-president for the ruling faction, will contest for the joint secretary's post.
Shiv Sena's open support to Cricket First has resulted in multiple politicians aspiring for major posts. It has resulted in the faction ending up filing multiple nomination papers for the same post. Over the next four days, the group will have to curtail the list and also control the disdain arising out of it.
Amol Karhadkar is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo