cricket-1A friendly match between NMMC officials and corporators was held at CBD’s Rajiv Gandhi stadium recently. MLA Sandeep Naik led corporators team beat DMC Jagannath Sinnarkar led administration’s team by over 35 runs. It wasn’t about Dhonis, Tendulkars, Pathans, or Gambhirs but about the local cricket heroes of the city. Forgetting political differences, corporators of all political parties rose to the challenge of a friendly cricket match against officials. January 1st marks NMMC’s Foundation Day celebrations and the friendly cricket match was one of the many social events organized to bring in the day of the corporation’s inception. MLA Sandeep Naik’s team of corporators took on DMC Jagannath Sinnarkar’s team of officials in the match held at Rajiv Gandhi stadium at CBD Belapur. The warm up session for the captains started with a little practice before the match started. MLA Sandeep Naik was welcomed as the celebrity player for the friendly match. And then came the moment for the toss ! MLA Sandeep Naik’s team won the toss and chose to bat first and from there on began a match that brought out the sporty side of NMMC corporators and officials that one rarely gets to see. Ravindra Ithape and Shivram Patil were the opening batsmen. Shivram Patil aggression as a corporator came out in his batting while Ithape proved to be a consistent batsman. However, the officials successfully broke the partnership of the duo. Next in line to bat was the team’s captain MLA Sandeep Naik. A state-level sportsman during his college days, MLA Sandeep Naik adorned the role of an all-round cricket player with ease – a wicket that the officials couldn’t take till the end. Until now people had heard of his skills as a sportsman. During this match people saw it too as MLA Sandeep Naik was not out and stood like a wall first batting a partnership with Ravindra Ithape and when Ithape got out, he continued his innings with NMMC Opposition Leader Ramakant Mhatre. The corporators made a total of 101 runs and then came the turn of NMMC officials. And may be the officials were not as good as the corporators team but nonetheless they Dy. Municipal Commissioner Jagannath Sinnarkar’s team including Addtl. City Engineer Surindra Patil, NMMT General Manager Jitendra Papalkar to Public Relation Officer Mahendra Konde put up sportsman’s spirit. The form of Vithal More and Dr. Jayaji Nath defied their age as they bowled an over each. The match was friendly but there had to be winners and losers. MLA Sandeep Naik’s team won the match by nearly 40 runs as the officials team all got out on 67 runs. And if we had to choose the Man of the Match – it had to be the young MLA Sandeep Naik. From batting, bowling, fielding to wicket keeping – Sandeep Naik did it all with equal panache leading his team to a comfortable win. Perhaps the reason why Sandeep Naik has earned the reputation of being a level headed humble politician with a healthy competitive spirit is because he’s first a sportsman and then a politician. Speaking to NMTV News, MLA Sandeep Naik said that at the end of the day it was not important who won or who lost but the unity that corporators demonstrated forgetting political identities for some time. He said that another special thing about the match was that they were playing it in NMMC’s stadium. On the other hand, Opposition Leader of NMMC Ramakant Mhatre said that it was great that they played like a team. DMC Jagannath Sinnakar who captained the administration’s team said that the match marked the soon to be celebrated Foundation Day of NMMC. In their otherwise hectic schedule, corporators and officials seldom get the time to relax. The match proved to be welcome break that brought cheers and applause for the cricketing heroes of the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation ! From CBD Belapur, with cameraperson Vinayak Dalvi, Monika Bhosale for NMTV News.

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