February 16th, 2010 by Ravi Matah | Posted in Sports   No Comments »
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Earlier it was the Pakistani cricket players who were not bought by the team owners for the ensuing IPL-3 and created an international row on the issue. And now it is the Australian cricket players who despite having being bought by some of the team owners are under a shadow of doubt about their inclusion in the playing XI on the day of the matches.

Addressing his party  on Monday, Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray said Australian players cannot play matches in Maharashtra. Thackeray had issued the same warning earlier as payback for the repeated attacks against Indians in Australia.

Sharad Pawar, Union Minister of Agriculture, recently made a request to Thackery, the Shiv Sena chief, to let the Australian cricketers play in the IPL games and allow people to create friendly atmosphere during the matches. Despite his request, the Shiv Sena has decided it will not let Australian players participate in cricket matches in the next season of the Indian Premier League (IPL), scheduled to commence in March 2010.

On February 7, Union Minister Sharad Pawar who is also the President of the Maharashtra Cricket Association visited Thackeray at his home to ask him to reconsider his stance.

It is true that attacks on the Indian students in Australia  are rascial, their attacks  are unprovoked and have resulted in the death of two students. The Australian PM Kevin Rudd, and Dy. PM Julia Gillard and their companions have done nothing to protect the helpless Indian students there.

 But should cricket and politics be interlinked? India should think of throttling the 23bn dollars worth of business with Australia and to put a spanner in the wheels of their billion dollars worth of education industry, rather than disallowing Gilchrist and company to play cricket in India. Adam Gilchrist is the Captain of Deccan chargers.

Home Minister P Chidambaram had said a few days ago that he guarantees the safety of Pakistani and Australian cricketers, if they play in India for the IPLcricket tournament.

Thirteen of the 60 matches in the tournament are scheduled to be played in Mumbai. All matches to be held at Hyderabad have been shifted out of Hyderabad.

Shiv Sena’s ban on Australian cricketers playing in Mumbai and Maharashtra to protest the attacks on Indians in Australia still stands, said Sena supremo Bal Thackeray on Monday and he again targeted actor Shah Rukh Khan for his statements in support of Pakistani cricketers who have not been selected for the IPL season.

Speaking in Mumbai, Thackeray said he had earlier announced a ban on Australian players due to the attacks on Indians in Australia. Union Agriculture Minister and NCP chief Sharad Pawar had met Thackeray recently with BCCI officials to seek a change in the Sena’s stance, but to no avail.

Ravi Matah

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