In the party's mouthpiece "Saamna" Sena MP Sanjay Raut writes, Sachin has not helped any Marathi cricketers... not even Vinod Kambli

Shiv Sena on Sunday unleashed another attack on Sachin Tendulkar and compared him with Sunil Gavaskar who it hailed as a “true Maharashtrian“.

The attack came in an article in party mouthpiece ’Saamna’ by Sena MP Sanjay Raut days after party supremo Bal Thackeray accused the 36-year-old cricket icon of hurting Marathi sentiments with his “Mumbai for all” remark.

Comparing Tendulkar to Gavaskar (60), Mr. Raut alleged, “There has been no instance of Sachin extending a helping hand to other Marathi cricketers. Forget others, he did not even support Vinod Kambli.”

“In contrast, Gavaskar when he captained India, had half the team drawn from Mumbai and Maharashtra. He gave Test caps to many Marathi players including Suru Naik and Zulphikar Parkar at least for one match,” he said, while also acknowledging Tendulkar’s greatness as a cricketer.

“In this context, Gavaskar is a genuine ‘Maharashtrian’ and the whole country loves him even now in the same way,” the article claimed.

“Players like Sachin have become rich because of game of cricket. Sachin’s wealth has crossed Rs 200-crore mark. We expect Sachin to be as ‘proud’ of Maharashtra as Saurav Ganguly is of Bengal,” it said. “Rahul Dravid too is a Marathi player but he is loyal to Karnataka,” Mr. Raut said.

Mr. Thackeray’s remarks on November 16 had evoked angry reactions from a host of political leaders as also the BCCI, who came down heavily on the Shiv Sena chief for criticising Tendulkar, saying his statement was just right and nobody could take objection to it.

Mr. Thackeray had said that Tendulkar had, through his remark, “left the crease and moved to the pitch of politics” and this had hurt the Marathi psyche.

Earlier, Tendulkar had said, “I am a Maharashtrian and I am extremely proud of that. But I am an Indian first. And Mumbai belongs to all Indians.”

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