Thackeray To Judge If Aussies Can Play Ipl

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Old 08-Feb-2010
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Post Thackeray To Judge If Aussies Can Play Ipl

Mumbai: Shiv Sena chief Balasaheb Thackeray has asked the Indian cricket board to give him a “presentation” before he decides on letting Australian cricketers play at the Indian Premier League (IPL) in Mumbai.

Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar and Shashank Manohar, president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, visited Thackeray at his residence in Mumbai on Sunday and urged him not to oppose the participation of Australian cricketers. Thackeray’s son Uddhav, executive president of the Shiv Sena, drove down from Pune for the meeting.

Pawar, a former BCCI president, didn’t speak to reporters but Manohar said Thackeray would “consider” the matter.

“We presented our viewpoint before Thackeray on this critical issue. We also explained to them the format of the IPL teams and matches and how there were one or two Australian players in each team. He agreed to consider the issue in a couple of days,” said Manohar.

“We have tried to convince him that the entire Australian team is not coming. Mr Thackeray was considerate enough and he asked to us give us a detailed presentation. So within a day or two we would give him a detailed presentation on the format of the tournament and the number of Australian players. Thereafter he would consider our request,” said Manohar. The IPL will also make a presentation on the issue before Thackeray.

The Shiv Sena has said it would not permit Australian players to play in Mumbai to oppose the attacks on Indians in that country.

The Australian cricket players association had expressed reservations about the players security in Mumbai, in light of the Sena's threats.

Rohit Chandavarkar, CNN-IBN’s political editor, west, says Pawar’s visit to the Thackeray residence would be a matter for the Shiv Sena.

The party is perceived to have been outsmarted by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who visited Mumbai on Friday but Shiv Sena workers failed to protest against him.

The Shiv Sena on Saturday backed away from protesting against actor Shah Rukh Khan, the owner of an IPL team, for favouring the inclusion of Pakistani cricketers in the IPL and says it will not block the release of his new film. The party softened its stand against Khan after finding that the popular mood was not in its favour.

Pawar’s visit to the Thackeray residence will, however, lift the party’s spirit, says Chandavarkar.

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