India news June 25, 2015

MCA enlists Tendulkar's services

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Sachin Tendulkar has agreed to attend the MCA's Cricket Improvement Committee meetings whenever available

Less than a month after joining the BCCI's cricket advisory committee, Sachin Tendulkar has agreed to be a part of the Mumbai Cricket Association's Cricket Improvement Committee (CIC) as a special invitee.

Dilip Vengsarkar, who became the MCA vice-president last week and will be chairing the committee that will look after all of its cricket activities, announced Tendulkar's first formal involvement in MCA affairs.

"I spoke with Sachin today and he has agreed to share his views on improving Mumbai cricket and attend CIC as a special invitee whenever he is in town," Vengsarkar said during a media conference on Thursday.

The eight-member CIC includes six former international cricketers - Vengsarkar, Ajit Wadekar, Sanjay Manjrekar, Pravin Amre, Ajit Agarkar and Diana Edulji - apart from Amol Muzumdar and Deepak Patil.

The CIC, a brainchild of the MCA president Sharad Pawar, was formed in 2001 to look into cricketing affairs. It was disbanded in 2011 after Pawar exited the MCA for a term. It was reconstituted earlier this year but didn't serve any purpose since it was formed towards the end of the domestic season.

Vengsarkar said the first CIC meeting would be held early next week. The first major responsibility of the committee will be to finalise selectors and coaches for all Mumbai teams. Mumbai's Ranji Trophy team is without a coach, with Amre clarifying that he isn't interested in extending his stint.

The MCA, Vengsarkar said, would also form a disciplinary committee to keep a check on indiscipline by cricketers on and off the field. "We will not tolerate any indiscipline by any player, be it the best superstar or an under-14 cricketer," he said.

Last year, Suryakumar Yadav stepped down as Mumbai's Ranji Trophy captain midway through the season following prolonged disciplinary issues, including spats with teammates. That was followed by Sarfaraz Khan making obscene gestures at selectors while playing an Under-19 match, after being dropped from the Ranji team. The MCA had decided to withhold both players' match fees as security deposit for decent behaviour.

Vengsarkar also announced that the Kanga League, the only wet-weather tournament in India, will revert to its traditional monsoon format. It had been rescheduled from October to February for the last two years. This year, the tournament will be played from August 2 to October 25.

The managing committee also decided, Vengsarkar said, to allot one membership of the clubhouse at the MCA's Bandra-Kurla complex to each of its 329 affiliates. The promise of membership was one of the decisive factors in the Pawar-Mahaddalkar panel's sweep in last week's election.

Amol Karhadkar is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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