Former chief ministers eye Mumbai Cricket Association post | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Former chief ministers eye Mumbai Cricket Association post

As the election for the post of the president of one of the richest cricket associations in India - Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) - draws near, at least two former chief ministers of Maharashtra have thrown their hats into the ring.

mumbai Updated: May 09, 2011 02:09 IST
HT Correspondent

As the election for the post of the president of one of the richest cricket associations in India - Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) - draws near, at least two former chief ministers of Maharashtra have thrown their hats into the ring.

The seat of power - for which elections are held every two years and votes cast by MCA members and all affiliated clubs - is currently with the Nationalist Congress Party president and International Cricket Council chief Sharad Pawar.

Pawar has kept an iron grip on the post since 2001, but the Union agriculture minister has his hands full and there are indications that he may not contest this year, instead choosing to back either Congressman and Union Cabinet colleague Vilasrao Deshmukh or former Indian skipper Dilip Vengsarkar, who are both MCA vice-presidents in his panel.

The battle is likely to become more interesting because state industries minister Narayan Rane has also decided to contest for the post, said MCA sources.

The dates for the next polls will be fixed at the MCA's meeting on Monday.

With its lure of power and money, India's most popular sport has always attracted politicians.

Politicians in the city began getting involved in cricket administration way back in the 1970s.

The Wankhede stadium was built due to the single-handed perseverance of then state finance minister and state assembly speaker, Sheshrao Wankhede.

Contemporary politicians got into the game with the Shiv Sena's Manohar Joshi defeating former cricketer Madhav Mantri for the post of the MCA president. Joshi's stint drew Pawar's interest and he has now been ruling the association for a decade.