Mumbai: Mumbai Mayor Sunil Prabhu on Thursday accused the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) of "cheating" Mumbaikars in the name of promoting cricket among the masses.
He said the MCA flouted norms by constructing a posh club on a piece of land allotted for setting up a cricket training academy in Kandivli, a suburb in north-west Mumbai.
"When the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) allotted it the land for setting up a cricket academy, it went ahead and constructed a five-star cricket club. Is this not cheating the people of Mumbai?" Prabhu said in a statement.
He pointed out that despite MCA not having fulfilled various conditions imposed by the civic body, and not being issued a mandatory Occupation Certificate, the cricket association was going ahead with the inauguration of its new swank club.
According to information, the MCA will go ahead with the inauguration of its new club premises in Kandivli, north Mumbai, on Sunday, July 14. The BMC has said that this would be "illegal".
The Shiv Sena has already demanded that since the MCA has flouted norms, the land should be seized, according to senior party leader and House Leader Yashodhar Phanse, to which the Mayor has indicated his approval.
Among other things, Prabhu said that the MCA has constructed a restaurant and a bar on the space reserved for sports and not indicated timings when senior citizens would be allowed to use the place for recreation purposes twice daily.
The MCA is considered the oldest cricket association in India, founded in 1930 and is headquartered in the Wankhede Stadium in south Mumbai, the mecca of major cricketing events in the city.
The MCA is a permanent member of the Board of Cricket Control of India, which too is housed in the Wankhede Stadium.
Being a premier cricketing organisation in the country, it has always attracted top names at its helm of affairs with personalities from politics, corporate, business and the cricket world.