Former Mumbai Cricket Association president Ashish Shelar has thrown his hat in the ring to contest the president’s post at the Boxing Federation of India. He, thus, challenges incumbent Ajay Singh in elections to be held on December 18 .

Shelar filed his papers on Wednesday and was included in the BFI electoral college, which paved the way for him to take on Ajay. The BFI elections have been due since September but were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The process will be conducted during the BFI’s annual general meeting in Gurugram.

“I am looking forward to joining the boxing family and taking this crucial Olympic sport to the next level,” Shelar, who is also a Member of Legislative Assembly from the Bandra West Constituency, representing BJP, was quoted as saying in a press release.

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“I will be able to strengthen boxing at the grassroots level which has sorely been neglected. At the same time, I can use my [connections] with cricket and football stalwarts to provide the push for our elite boxers to attain even more glory for the country,” he said.

'Fine administrator'

BFI secretary general Jay Kowli welcomed his entry. The last date of filing nominations is December 8. “Mr Shelar is a fine administrator and has done a lot for many sports in Maharashtra and his vision for boxing is truly impressive,” he said.

The 48-year-old Shelar is a former sports minister of Maharashtra. He is a former chairman of the Mumbai District Football Association, which has 350 clubs under its wings, the release stated.