MCA’s newly-announced selection committees may run into trouble after two members of the Cricket Improvement Committee express dissent over some names not being discussed

A massive storm in the Cricket Improvement Committee (CIC) has come to light a day after the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) announced the selectors for its various teams.

On Thursday, the MCA released the names of 27 men and women selectors across various age groups for the forthcoming season. However, mid-day has learnt that two members [Raju Kulkarni and Kiran Mokashi] of the three-member CIC, headed by Dilip Vengsarkar, have registered their dissent over the selection of the selectors supposed to be made by the very committee they belong to.

Kulkarni and Mokashi have also demanded that the MCA should go by the constitution and rule book and declare the selection null and void. On Wednesday, the CIC had fruitful discussions for close to three hours to finalise the process to be put in place before making any appointments. They also discussed a few names and asked the MCA to check their availability before finalising them.

However, on Thursday, the MCA announced the selectors without any other formal CIC meeting taking place. While the MCA said that the list has been finalised by the CIC, it is learnt that Kulkarni and Mokashi are upset with these appointments being made in a hush-hush manner. “Some names were not even discussed during the CIC meeting on Wednesday. It is quite evident that the names have been finalised to suit someone’s liking,” said an MCA source yesterday.

It also pointed out some alleged discrepancies. “The Supreme Court order clearly states that all selection committees should consist of five members. Then, why do senior and U-23 men’s and women’s selection panels have four members, while the rest of the selection panels have five? One member of the senior and U-23 selection committee is not even physically fit to travel for matches. So, how will he do his job, especially when the MCA has doubled the remuneration for the selectors?” the source asked.

Conflict of interest issue

Conflict of interest is another bone of contention. “There are many who run academies catering to that particular age group/gender of which they are a selector or are attached to club teams. So, overnight [since the CIC met on Wednesday and the MCA announced the names on Thursday] the MCA has done background checks of these candidates and went ahead with the announcement. The manner in which the whole process has panned out is very upsetting,” the source said.

Meanwhile, a storm has also gathered around the appointments of Vengsarkar as CIC chief and Milind Rege as senior selection committee chairman. Sanjeev Gupta, a Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association life member, has filed an official complaint to the BCCI ombudsman Justice DK Jain against Vengsarkar and Rege’s appointment over alleged breach of constitution rules.

According to Gupta’s complaint, Vengsarkar is in alleged breach of Rule 6(5)f as he has completed his nine-year tenure as MCA vice-president and hence cannot be a part of any committee. Rege’s appointment has allegedly breached Rule 6(5)b as he is above the age of 70.

MCA unperturbed

The MCA, though, is unperturbed over the appointments of Vengsarkar and Rege. “We have discussed with the amicus curiae PS Narsimha when we met him in New Delhi over a couple of meetings before making these appointments. We are ready to explain our side to the ombudsman when we receive anything formally from him,” said an MCA official.

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