Former Maharashtra left-arm spinner Anil Walhekar, currently fighting for cricketers, has been on hunger strike for the last 10 days at the Maharashtra Cricket Association’s (MCA) old office at Nehru Stadium in Pune.
“I have been requesting the MCA for several years to follow the Lodha Committee reforms properly. However, I was not getting any response and hence went on hunger strike. The MCA officials had submitted the wrong constitution to the Charity Commissioner. This is an illegal body and they should immediately resign from their posts,” Walhekar told mid-day from Pune on Wednesday.
While some prominent ex-cricketers and club officials in Pune and other districts are supporting Walhekar, no one from the MCA has asked about his health, he said.
Walhekar, 58, and several first-class cricketers will meet the Charity Commissioner in Pune today.
Walhekar, who claimed 19 first-class wickets from nine games, added: “All from the cricketing fraternity throughout India knew that MCA had lost their right to vote in the BCCI elections. In the current MCA body, there are seven members who have completed more than 10 years in the association and are not eligible to continue.”
Former Maharashtra stalwart Shantanu Sugwekar, 55, who scored 6,563 runs in 85 games, called for an immediate end to all illegal activities. “They [MCA] should implement the Lodha Committee reforms as per the Supreme Court order. They are not following any norms,” Sugwekar remarked.
Former Maharashtra pacer Subhash Ranjane reckoned that cricket is suffering due to politics. “Anil is fighting for the betterment of cricket. We former first-class cricketers are supporting him. I have been guiding budding cricketers for the last 22 years, but MCA does not even allow our Academy team to participate in Invitation and other tournaments. There is one person who has been a selector for the last 15 years. There are other selectors who are doing the job for more than 10 years,” Ranjane explained.
‘Not answerable to him’
Meanwhile, MCA Secretary Riyaz Bagwan reacted: “They have only gone to the Charity Commissioner. The person [Walhekar], who is on a fast is not even party to any of these things so we are not answerable to him. They are not our [MCA] members. The matter is sub-judice so I cannot speak on this topic.”