The Indian Premier League is going on at its full throttle and the Indian masses are thoroughly enjoying this annual mega carnival of cricket in India. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the BCCI decided to restrict the hosting of IPL to just 4 venues in Mumbai and Pune which made the role of Mumbai and Maharashtra Cricket Association all the more vital in terms of administration. In this column, we bring forward to you the interview of an administrator who has been associated with the Mumbai Cricket Association for long.
On the field of play, you may have seen and heard of many all-rounders but off the field managing a team and administrating it is not an easy task at all. On the 2nd of April 2011, the day when India won the ICC Cricket World Cup and the nation went into a grand celebration. The scorecard of that game will help one fetch all the details of the match officials involved, the performances of the players but do you know who was the liaison manager of the Indian team that won the World Cup?
It was Mr. Nitin Dalal, who managed the grand and high voltage World Cup final extravaganza of the Indian team. Before we proceed to his interview, let us have a look at his contributions as an administrator.
Date of birth: 21 Oct 1952
1) No. of years as an office bearer: 6
No. of years as a managing committee member: 8
2) Mr. Nitin Dalal was elected as the Honorary Treasurer of the Mumbai Cricket Association in biennial election held on 17 June 2015.
3) He has completed two terms as the Joint Honorary Secretary for the period 2011-2013 and 2013-2015.
4) He represents Star Cricket Club on the Association.
5) He completed four terms as managing committee member in 2011.
6) He is actively involved with club cricket and promotes a lot of youngsters. He himself played in prestigious Dr. H. D. Kanga league tournament.
7) He regularly organising foreign cricket tours for the youngsters and a lot of players for Mumbai have benefited from these tours of South Africa, U.K., Kenya & Tanzania.
8) He has worked as the member of the Stadium committee and has contributed a lot of during international matches.
9)He served as the Secretary of the registration of players committee and implemented a system of computerization of registration of players.
10) As a Manager of the Mumbai Ranji trophy team, He has been extremely popular & takes good care of the team. Under his tenure as Manager, Mumbai has won 3 titles: in 2006-07, 2008-09 & 2009-10.
11) He was the Liaison manager of the ICC World Cup 2011 winning Indian team at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai.
12) Nitin Dalal is the Chairman of Cricket committee of Garware Club house and Chairman of Cultural committee of Garware Club house.
13) He is currently a Member of the Umpire Committee of the BCCI and was the member of Tournament & Fixtures Sub-Committee of BCCI earlier.
Let’s know his memorable journey in his own words:
Q: When did you start your cricketing journey?
I started playing cricket at age of 11 years in Nashik. My school Boys Town were the champions in the 1968-69 season. I have played along with former India player Roni Irani. In Mumbai, I played for the Fort Vijay Cricket Club. I started my journey as an administrator in 1983. Some senior administrators Mr. Bal Mahaddalkar and Mr. Ramesh Kosambia’s group gave me my maiden opportunity to stand for the managing committee’s election. I was the treasurer for 3 years and my hardwork there gave me results in future. Thanks to Mr. Ravi Sawant who put his faith in me and my abilities.
Q: Under your tenure as the Manager of the side, Mumbai won 3️⃣ Ranji trophy titles. How was the experience?
It was a very good experience. The boys like Nilesh Kulkarni, Sahil Kukreja, Sairaj Bahutule, Wasim Jaffer, Amol Muzumdar, Abhishek Nayar, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma were really good and were under the acute eyes of coach Pravin Amre which helped us a lot. The dressing room atmosphere was pretty cool and cheerful and I must say that the particular batch was extremely good.
Q: Among those 3️⃣ titles, which title is the most memorable for you?
My most memorable title victory was against Bengal in 2006-07 season. It was a very nice season for us. In the final at home, we put up a good total with help of centuries from Wasim Jaffer (112) and Sachin Tendulkar (105). The Bengal side had Sourav Ganguly up their ranks. Actually, a lot of senior Indian side’s players featured in that final. Our bowling attack consisted of Zaheer, Agarkar, Ramesh Powar. Mumbai won that game by 132 runs on the 4th day.
Q: Do your family members also have same passion?
I’ve had 2 younger brothers but my mother was highly interested in cricket. My wife Mrs. Smita comes to witness almost all the matches. My son Jayesh is a Software engineer in USA. He has worked for World Disney and is now working for Zynie. He checks scores every now and then in an order to enjoy the game.
Q: How did the victory feel in the 2011 World Cup?
It was a fantastic victory. The whole of India did celebrations till late night and it was as amazing a feeling as it can get.
Q: How did you enjoy the 2019 World Cup Final since you were present in the stadium to witness the moment?
It was an awesome final. I was at the Lord’s with my friend Shyam Kochrekar who happens to be a lawyer. The game was a tie which was followed by a super over which also happened to be a tie which was something nobody had ever seen before in international cricket. It was a fabulous game and we enjoyed every ounce of it.
Q: BharatRatna Sachin Tendulkar played his historic 200th Test match at Wankhede Stadium when you were the MCA Joint Secretary. How was your experience in that grand moment?
It was a fitting tribute to a superbly dedicated legend. He gave a very good farewell speech which made everyone go numb. The people present in the ground gave him a standing ovation. His mother also came to see his son’s farewell game. I’ve been friends with him since 1988. I flied to Lahli to see his farewell Ranji Trophy match (in which he scored a match winning 79* and got Man of the Match award) and both these occasions were very special for me.
Q: What do you expect from the Indian team for the upcoming 2023 ODI World Cup to be held on the Indian soil?
India has got some talented players in Suryakumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, Ishan Kishan who are new to the scene and are making a new for themselves apart from the seasoned players. We have a nice set of players who have been performing well and our team is really good and we hope that the Indian team will give their best in order to lift yet another World Cup.
Ex Ranji Trophy Player and the current coach of Mumbai Ranji team Amol Muzumdar about Shri Nitin Dalal: “Mr. Nitin Dalal is a fantastic manager. He is a very pleasant personality. Due to his presence, the dressing room’s atmosphere was very cheerful and enjoyable.”
Team Bouncer Avenue conveys their best wishes for Mr. Nitin Dalal’s future endeavours, Jai Hind Jai Bharat
Article Written by Chirag Doshi
Chirag is a Sports journalist and Jury member of BBC News Awards, Mumbai. MBA in HR, Professor of Sports History in IIT Bombay, Employment Counsellor of University of California.