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The Times of India
The Times of India
Gaurav Gupta | TNN

Admire your courage in fighting MCA elections bravely: Raju Kulkarni to Sandeep Patil

MUMBAI: A day after he lost the presidential elections of the Mumbai Cricket Association to Amol Kale by 25 votes, India's 1983 World Cup hero Sandeep Patil has received an emotional letter (a copy is with TOI) from former India pacer Raju Kulkarni, who has lauded Patil for his "courage for fighting this so bravely."

Kulkarni, who played 3 Tests and 10 ODIs, was Patil's India and Mumbai teammate in the 80s. Backed by political heavyweights in his campaign, Kale was a candidate of the Sharad Pawar-Ashish Shelar Group, and is a close friend of Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.

"Dear Sandy, we have finally come to the end of the MCA election, which must have given you invaluable experience playing against the 'World Xl.' Firstly, I admire your courage and for fighting this so bravely. For us cricketers, this election memory will be as special as watching you score a brilliant 99 after 21 for 5, one short of a well-deserved ton and we have always seen you as a high achiever in everything you take up," Kulkarni has written to Kale.

This is the fourth time in the last three decades that a former India cricketer has lost the MCA presidential election. "The MCA election history is a testament to the courage that our Mumbai cricketers have in fighting an election against the bigwigs after every decade. Even though we are used to taking on tough opponents on the cricket field, the story is entirely different off the field. Following the footsteps of Madhav Mantri, Ajit Wadekar, Dilip Vengsarkar, you have really won our hearts and respect. Thank you for being brave and fearless! The Mumbai cricketers will always be indebted to you for showing great fighting spirit, which is Mumbai cricket's trademark," wrote Kulkarni.

The 60-year-old concluded his letter with a hope that more former cricketers would show the "grit and courage to fight a politician" in the MCA elections in near future. "Let's sincerely hope that we don't have to wait for a decade before another Mumbai cricketer shows grit and courage to fight a politician, in our language 'Gola XI.' Warm regards. Raju,"

While campaigning for the election, Patil had invited Kulkarni, who has been the chairman of the Cricket Improvement Committee in the past, to join him in administration in the association.

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