Mumbai: A Gala function was held on 8th November by Mumbai Cricket Association to celebrate Mumbai playing 500 Ranji Matches. While the function saw many top stars like Sachin Tendulkar, Dilip Vengsarkar and Ajit Wadekar being felicitated, reliable sources are questioning the absence of many top players.
Someone who is associated the maximum with Mumbai cricket, Sunil Gavaskar was missing. So was current coach of the Indian Cricket team, Ravi Shastri. In the function, the Mumbai cricket team as well as the Baroda cricket team players were felicitated. However surprisingly the current coach of the Mumbai Ranji team Sameer Dighe was not present.
Our Reliable sources are saying that the function was hastily arranged and simply invites were couriered to the last known address of the players. As a result, many cricketers did not get the invitation as they had changed their addresses or were not present when the invitation reached.
Some such Indian stars who reportedly did not receive the invitation were 1983 World Cup hero Balwinder Singh Sandhu, the best bowler not to play for India Padmakar Shivalkar, and former Indian players Raju Kulkarni, Sameer Dighe, and Sairaj Bahatule. As for Gavaskar and Shastri, it is alleged that they did not attend as they were not properly invited.
On its part, MCA denies that any such mistake happened and says that due care were taken. They say that even players who had come to the ground forgetting their invite were also allowed inside and properly escorted to the venue.
The Truth will be known to MCA and its insiders. However, if it is true that former players did not receive invites due to the indifferent attitude of cricket administrators, the same would be unfortunate.