The Shiv Sena will take a call on allowing Australian players in the Indian Premier league (IPL) in two or three days, according to the party mouthpiece, Saamna.
On Sunday, Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar and president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Shashank Manohar had gone to Sena supremo Bal Thackeray’s residence ‘Matoshri’ to meet him and present their point of view.
Mr. Thackeray was firm that the country was more important than sport and he would never tolerate an insult to the nation. He had earlier stated that he would not allow Australian players on Indian soil after the spate of attacks on Indian students Down Under.
Mr. Pawar had announced that he would meet Mr. Thackeray at the end of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) meeting in Aurangabad over the weekend.
During the meeting, Mr. Thackeray asked the BCCI to give a presentation in a couple of days of how many Australian players figure in the IPL and said he would take a call after that. Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray and MP Sanjay Raut were present during the meeting, which lasted two-and-a-half hours.
IPL timetable sought
Mr. Manohar said that since there were only two or three Australians in each team and the rest were Indian, they should be allowed to play. Mr. Thackeray also asked for a timetable of the IPL. There was no discussion on Pakistani players, it was stated.
The IPL starts on March 12, and Australians figure in each of the eight teams taking part.
Chavan promises security
Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan in New Delhi said the government was capable enough to handle the security and other issues pertaining to the IPL and the players. He said the government was the only authority to look after the security concerns of the State and no one else. The perpetrators of any crime would be brought to book and seriously dealt with.