Mumbai: ICC chief Sharad Pawar has decided not to seek re—election as the president of Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) for a sixth term.

At a meeting with his group of supporters held at the MCA’s Bandra—Kurla Complex, the Union Agriculture Minister declared his intention not to seek re—election, according to sources.

“He confirmed at the meeting he’s not contesting,” the sources said.

The filing of nominations for the July 15 MCA elections ends on July 8.

The decision by Pawar seems to have left the field open for former India captain Dilip Vengsarkar to become the first cricketer to don the mantle after nearly two decades during which time politicians have been at the helm.

Manohar Joshi succeeded former India stumper Madhav Mantri as MCA’s president in 1992 and was, in turn, succeeded by Pawar in 2001.

Vengsarkar, a former chief selector, is currently one of the two vice presidents of the association and has repeatedly said he would contest for the top post in MCA.

He is likely to be opposed by Union Minister for Rural Development Vilasrao Deshmukh, who is the other vice—president of the association.

Pawar was elected as MCA chief for the first time in 2001 and he completed eight years (four terms) in that post in 2009.

(Agencies)