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NCP, BJP And Uddhav Sena Keep Politics Away, Shake Hands To Capture Mumbai Cricket Association

Even as a political battle is raging in Maharashtra, antagonists from the two sides have teamed up to capture the prestigious Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA). NCP boss Sharad Pawar has fielded Mumbai BJP chief Ashish Shelar for the post of MCA president. The MCA apex committee, too, has Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray’s right hand Milind Narvekar and Pawar’s confidant Jitendra Awhad, among others. Former cricketer Sandip Patil suddenly found himself sidelined when Pawar decided to switch his support to Shelar, following a meeting between the two leaders. Till then, Patil was projected as a Pawar nominee. The announcement of the names of Shelar and others in the panel has been made in writing on behalf of “Sharad Pawar—Ashish Shelar Group.” A top BJP leader’s close follower, Amol Kale, will contest the October 20 election for the post of vice president. MCA is the richest sports body in India and has been politically controlled over the years. Then Lok Sabha speaker Manohar Joshi of the Shiv Sena and Pawar himself have headed it for a long time. MCA has invariably favoured politicians over cricketers and the defeated players so far include giants like Madhav Mantri, Ajit Wadekar and Dilip Vengasarkar.