Cricket in Goa was in limbo after the last election and with secretary Rohan Gauns Desai trying to get both factions on the same page, the speculation that industrialist Manoj Caulo is contemplating contesting the post of president in the next election has enlivened spirits.
“I will not say no. I have not yet decided, but when the time comes, I will think about it,” industrialist Manoj Caculo, who is president of Panjim Gymkhana, told Gomantak Times Digital when contacted to confirm the speculation among cricket lovers that he is going to be the next face of the Goa Cricket Association (GCA) along with secretary Rohan Gauns Desai.
“There is time, but I do not want to rule out the possibility of contesting the post of president,” he added.
Things have been looking up for cricket in Goa since Rohan was unanimously elected to the post of secretary, and the academy ground in Porvorim has become vibrant with activity.
“GCA should work for the interest of youngsters. The organisation should have been able to help kids in Goa grow. I know Manoj and wish him good luck if he decides to contest because he is very capable,” stated former GCA president Ramakant Khalap.
“It is very good news. We want people like him as he has the capability of bringing about the changes required for the betterment of cricket in Goa. It is time he retires from business and gets into social work. He is capable of taking cricket much higher than what it is today,” candidly stated Pandurang Bhai Naik, the president of Sportsweek Sports Club from South Goa.
“Mr Caculo has experience with the Panjim Gymkhana and has great administrative skills. We, in cricket, will definitely be looking forward to better days. Somebody of his stature heading GCA will be nice. It is very important that cricket is put back in line,” stated Suresh Mahadevan, former representative of Ranji players in the GCA executive committee.
“Let me be straight. After years, we see the GCA ground full of boys and girls practising. This was never seen before. This looked like a ground made for our Ranji home games and nothing else. The emphasis has shifted with secretary Rohan and he along with Caculo will make magic,” stated a parent of a player on the condition of anonymity.
“I have personally never met Caculo, but it is nice others are thinking of contesting because cricket has been a mess for the last many years. Nothing has been done to develop the age-group structure or even the Ranji squad,” stated former GCA president Dayanand Narvekar.
“It is nice if a new face wants to stand for election, but in the end, it is the clubs who need to elect the president. What I think is not enough because, at the end of the day, the votes decide who is the president,” stated Pratap Gawas, the former MLA and president of Vividha SC.
“We players have never been treated with respect since the new secretary has taken over. I understand we have not yet given the results expected of us, but we need time too. However, a change is definitely visible,” stated a Ranji player on the condition of anonymity.
“The Ranji selection has not yet started, but we hope and are expecting that the previous style of selecting players is not followed. We are confident of changes, and with a new face as president, cricket in Goa could be lucky,” added another player.
New pitches; a new routine for players; a better emphasis on women’s cricket; and a new line on administration have been adopted by GCA since Rohan joined, with Vipul Phadke at the helm as president.
How the two youngsters perform could well be the final pointer which may help Manoj Caculo decide yes or no.