The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Pawar decision took even MCA by surprise
- Initially, Maharashtra strongman was convinced he should wait till 2007

Calcutta: Union minister Sharad Pawar's decision to fight for the Board president's chair (unsuccessful as it turned out), as a North Zone candidate, actually took even the body he heads ' Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) ' by surprise.

According to a well-placed source of The Telegraph, Pawar informally broached his candidature during the MCA managing committee meeting on September 1. Among the members, incidentally, is former India captain Dilip Vengsarkar.

After a discussion, however, he was convinced he shouldn't 'jump the queue' and ought to wait till 2007 when it will be West's turn to provide the president. The term is for two years but, generally, a third is also given.

'Pawar, in fact, asked one of the MCA officials to contact Jagmohan Dalmiya and convey that he would back his candidate at the AGM (which got underway on Wednesday). In turn, of course, he expected to be supported in three years time,' the source pointed out.

That wasn't a problem with (outgoing Board president) Dalmiya and all was fine till September 14 when a long-standing friend of Pawar, Raj Singh Dungarpur, informed a select circle that the minister had 'been persuaded' to fight at this AGM itself.

Pawar announced his candidature less than a week later.

'Clearly, it came as a shock to the MCA managing committee... But, because the body's president himself was involved, nobody asked him to reconsider and wait till 2007,' the source added.

It's not insignificant that everybody associated with Mumbai's cricket wasn't exactly thrilled by Pawar's (ill-advised) decision to lean on Punjab and North.

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