Pawar back at MCA; set for second innings as President

Mumbai: Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar was declared elected unopposed as new President of the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA), it was announced on Thursday by the election officer here ahead of tomorrow's biennial polls.
"Mr Sharad Pawar has been declared elected unopposed as President of the Mumbai Cricket Association by election officer S M Gorwadkar as there is no other candidate to oppose him," MCA sources told PTI.
"Mr Gopinath Munde (the BJP leader whose plea to contest the polls was rejected) has so far not approached the court (against the decision)," the sources added.
Munde, whose application to contest the polls was rejected last Saturday by the election officer on the ground of his residential status, had appealed against the verdict but it too was rejected, paving the way for the NCP chief to get elected unopposed.
This is Pawar's second innings as President of MCA.
The Maratha strongman had headed the association for a decade, from 2001-2011, before making way for then Maharashtra Chief Minister and Congress leader Vilasrao Deshmukh, who passed away in August last year. He was succeeded by Ravi Savant.
Pawar, who has headed BCCI and also ICC in the past, is backed by all three groups contesting the biennial elections, which have seen intense lobbying for the other posts in the Managing Committee.
The three panels – Bal Mahaddalkar group, Cricket First and Shetty's group – are headed by outgoing MCA chief Ravi Savant, incumbent Vice-President Vijay Patil and Cricket Board General Manager (Game Development) Ratnakar Shetty.
Savant and Patil are involved in a fight for bagging the two vice-President posts in a triangular contest also featuring Shetty's panel member Pankaj Thakur.
Shetty, MCA's long-time administrator has, however, been debarred from contesting the polls as he is a paid employee of BCCI, the Association's parent body.
The treasurer's post would see a straight contest between Vinod Deshpande (Mahaddalkar group) and Mayank Khandwala (Cricket First).
There are four contestants for the two Joint Secretary posts – incumbents Nitin Dalal and P V Shetty (both from Mahaddalkar group), Unmesh Khanvilkar (Cricket First) and former Joint Secretary Pravin Barve (Shetty group).