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HindustanTimes Sat,19 Apr 2014

Cricket

Mumbai Cricket Association leaves Ranji team in the lurch
Anand Sachar, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, November 12, 2013
First Published: 00:09 IST(12/11/2013)
Last Updated: 00:13 IST(12/11/2013)

With Sachin Tendulkar’s retirement less than a week away, everyone is eager to get a piece of the action. The Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) is no exception.

Every thought and action of the MCA is focussed on handing the Master a perfect sendoff. So much so, that they forgot that their Ranji team was playing in Chandigarh.

Mumbai, 40-time and defending champions, are the only team to have registered two outright wins in as many games in the current season, yet, the MCA left the team stranded without return air tickets from Chandigarh.

“I came back today (Monday) morning. We did not get tickets to return together, maybe because of it being a Sunday,” Shrikant Tigdi, team manager and MCA member, told HT. Other top officials of the MCA were unaware of the development.

Having routed Punjab on Sunday morning, the team realised that their return tickets had not been booked. “Is this how you treat your Ranji players? Half of them flew back yesterday (Sunday), the other half today. This is disgusting,” said a player.

“Are we not their (MCA) cricketers? Looks like they have forgotten us,” said another player. “If they were planning to save the cancellation money in case the match got over earlier, they will now be paying a lot more for the last-minute bookings!”

As there are fewer flights out of Chandigarh, the team had to fly back in five batches. In fact, the final group only returned late on Monday night. Captain Zaheer Khan was the first to leave after the match while the rest of the players and support staff followed later.

With another crucial game scheduled in two days’ time, against Delhi, the haphazard return has caused confusion.

“We were scheduled to practice on Tuesday but don’t know how many of us will be up for it after the messy travel,” said a player.


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