Porvorim: “I withdrew from the elections in favour of Vipul Phadke because I always believed that the game has to come first and not an individual. Now the decks are clear for Vipul and I am sure Goa Cricket Association (GCA) will once again be free for another three years from elements who want to sponge off the game,” GCA general secretary Daya Pagi told The Navhind Times after he withdrew his nomination for the post of GCA general secretary for the 2019-2022 Executive Committee.
“I enjoyed my tenure and believe that a lot more needs to be done to take cricket forward. Like me, Vipul is there to help take the game forward. We share a lot of common bonds and it did not make sense that we stood against each other. We sat and discussed and I decided to withdraw my nomination. I will be with him right through,” said Daya as he was being congratulated by numerous club members who had gathered at the GCA premises on Monday.
Daya took over as honorary secretary of GCA after the Lodha Commission Report and at a time when the Association was going through a financial crunch. Yet, all tournaments of the GCA were conducted in time and he took GCA a step further by embracing cricket for the visually impaired. GCA with Daya as secretary not only hosted an international tournament for the visually impaired but also assisted the players from Goa in practising and participating in national tournaments.
“I think each one of us has to look after those who are not privileged as we are. For me personally, my best times in GCA was when I saw the smiles on the faces of the visually handicapped players; when I heard them cheer each other; when I heard their wives and family members supporting them. The joy felt in the involvement, not just my joy but the joy in all members of GCA, will be the memory I will cherish of my tenure,” opined Daya when asked to go down memory lane of his tenure as GCA secretary.
“The joy is more when you give without expecting anything,” added Daya.
“I stood because there was still unfinished business but if I have stepped aside in favour of Vipul because he has promised to fulfill what I have not finished and has promised to do things I had not planned. The two of us are in GCA because we have cricket in mind. Unlike others, we are not in cricket to further our causes. Cricket is used as a milking ground by a few. We have always been different and will continue,” confessed Daya.
There were times during his tenure when the Association saw financial pitfalls and yet Daya saw to it that the game never suffered the brunt. When needed, he got acting president Suraj Lotlikar or former presidents and secretaries to come out of the quagmire and that is why many association members present at the GCA on Monday saw Daya’s withdrawal as another gentle bow to cricket by an administrator who understands why cricket is a gentleman’s game.