For years, Delhi and Districts Cricket Association (DDCA) has been mired in corruption, but on 30 June, the state cricket body will be choosing its new president in hope of a strong revival. The upcoming elections are being seen as a new wave in Delhi cricket with all the 3600 members being asked to vote directly as the proxy system has been done away with.
The main battle for the presidential seat is said to be between former Indian cricketer Madan Lal and India TV owner Rajat Sharma.
Madan Lal has garnered endorsements from some of the popular names in Indian cricket, with the likes of Ravi Shastri, Krishnamachari Srikkanth, Bishan Singh Bedi, Sunil Gavaskar and Kirti Azad posting their good luck messages for Lal on social media.
Lal, in return, has been overwhelmed by the response that has come in his favour. He was quoted as saying on Cricketnext.com, "I am overwhelmed by their gestures and want to do justice to my home association."
He also wants to bring in a positive change where cricketers feel pride about the association.
"When I go to Mumbai or Bangalore I see the kind of pride their players take in the MCA and KSCA. I want the same kind of respect for DDCA which has produced the stalwarts of Indian cricket," the World Cup-winning cricketer said.
Lal has also been very vocal about his intentions of cleansing the DDCA politics. He said, "I know a lot of people have been raising the issue that why I have chosen to fight the election since Delhi politics is very dirty. My answer is if we don’t fight the bad elements then who will."
One of Lal's rivals, the Supreme Court Bar Association President Vikas Singh, also praised Lal for his clean image but said he doesn't have much hope in Lal's team. Vikas was quoted as saying on the same website, "Madan Lal is a gentleman and I too respect him a lot. However, I find it very odd that the group which is backing him has brought notoriety to DDCA and can’t be defended. I personally would not have even contested had he contested independently."
On the other hand, Rajat Sharma has also been garnering faith of many big Indian cricketers. 1983 World Cup winner Yashpal Sharma and former Indian bowler Chetan Sharma have backed Sharma to win the elections. Interestingly, they also happen to be sports analysts on India TV, a channel owned by Rajat Sharma. Adding to the weight is Virender Sehwag who has offered his support to Sharma and the former Delhi players Aakash Chopra and Gautam Gambhir.
Both these strong candidates are fighting the elections on almost similar agendas which are ensuring a clean atmosphere at the Feroz Shah Kotla ground, better club facilities for members, transparency in election and team selection, a T20 league and building top-class cricket academies.
It is surely going to be interesting battle and we will have to wait and watch, who comes out with flying colours.