Wadiyar faction sweeps KSCA polls

Mysore royal scion & team beats ivals backed by Anil Kumble

Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) will once again witness the combination of Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar and Brijesh Patel at the helm of affairs after they swept to power in the elections.

Opponents of Wadiyar and Patel, a former India Test batsman, who were backed by Anil Kumble and Javagal Srinath were forced to eat humble pie.

Kumble, the previous president, and secretary Srinath did not contest the elections but supported the group that fought against Wadiyar and Patel.

At the general body meeting on Sunday, the Wadiyar-Patel group won all 24 seats. Wadiyar polled 923 votes out of the total 1,351 cast to regain the post of president, which he held for three years from 2007. His rival Sadananda Maiya managed just 428 votes.

Patel, seeking re-election as secretary, got 977 votes while his opponent AV Jayaprakash, a former international umpire and first-class player, got 374.

P Dayanand Pai, who polled 932 votes to defeat incumbent treasurer Tallam Venkatesh, was delighted with the result and said the verdict was a fitting result for the former office bearers.

“The members have taught [the outgoing team of] the Anil Kumble-Javagal Srinath group a lesson for their arrogance and egoism,” Pai said.

Wadiyar said after the debacle in the last elections, he and Patel decided to bury the hatchet and come together in the interest of KSCA and its members. “I have worked on this arrangement for the last three years. Thanks to this, we arrived at a strong combination. In fact, towards the end of 2008, Brijesh made a proposal that both of us should join hands,” Wadiyar said.

“It didn’t work out due to various reasons. But after the last election, both of us decided that it was time that in the interest of the members of KSCA, we should come together,” he disclosed.

Asked about his goals for the next three years, Wadiyar said his team will try to reduce the financial burden of clubs.

“The team would also upgrade the stadium to a world-class facility with modern lighting, drainage system and rainwater harvesting,” the scion of the royal Mysore family said.

Patel said the first priority was to see Karnataka doing well in Ranji Trophy and revive junior cricket.

“We have to deliver in the next three years. Our first target is to see that we do well in the Ranji Trophy and junior cricket is revamped,” he said. In the last elections, Wadiyar had lost to Kumble while Patel did not contest. Patel has served as KSCA secretary for 12 years, starting 1998.

Three vice-presidential candidates, R Sudhakar Rao (915 votes), PR Ashok Anand (861) and Sanjay Desai (790) won comfortably.

A total of 1,344 members voted, including former India captain Rahul Dravid. Among others who voted were former Test cricketers Erapalli Prasanna, BS Chandrasekhar, Syed Kirmani and Gundappa Viswanath.

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