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.
Meanwhile, talking to reporters, MCA treasurer Prof. Ratnakar Shetty said Pawar had decided not to contest as he had shown himself as a native of Baramati in Pune district, while as per the association's constitution the candidate needs to be a resident of MCA's jurisdiction (Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai).
A decision on the Pawar panel would be announced on Wednesday, said Shetty, who is also the Chief Administrative Officer of the BCCI.
Considering his contribution to the growth and development of MCA, the members -- with an absolute majority -- amended the constitution of the association to pave the way for Pawar to continue as the chief beyond eight years.
Later Pawar, who was also the president of the Cricket Board from 2005-2008, was elected unopposed as the president for the fifth two-year term in July 2009.
Pawar has already completed one year as the ICC chief and his term is to end in July 2012.
MCA, which has contributed the maximum number of Test cricketers to the country, has been led by politicians for nearly half a century barring the period between 1987-88 and 1991-92.
Sesharao Wankhede (1963-64 to 1986-87) had held the post for the longest period.