With the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) refusing to budge from its stand on the five-year ban imposed on Kolkata Knight Riders’ (KKR) principal owner Shah Rukh Khan, the Bollywood actor did not come to the Wankhede Stadium when his team was playing against Mumbai Indians here on Tuesday.

Rajeev Shukla, Indian Premier League chairman tweeted his displeasure and said, “It is unfortunate that a team owner is not able to watch an IPL match.”

Mr. Khan went to the team hotel to wish the players prior to the game. It was learnt that prior to the game, Khan went to the team hotel to wish the players. On Monday, the MCA asked the local police station to prevent Mr. Khan from entering the stadium.

Police alerted

“We wrote a letter to Marine Lines police station asking them not to allow Mr. Khan inside the stadium tomorrow [Tuesday]. This was after the police had asked us to send a letter to that effect,” MCA president Ravi Savant said.

Mr. Khan was banned from entering the MCA premises, including the Wankhede Stadium, by the association’s managing committee, then headed by the late Vilasrao Deshmukh, after he was involved in a fracas with the security staff and officials of the cricket body following KKR’s victory over MI on May 16, 2012. The actor had, however, denied any misconduct and said he reacted only after children, including his kids, were “manhandled” by the stadium’s security staff.

Tuesday’s match was the first KKR outing here after last year’s incident. — PTI

Staff Reporter writes:

Lift ban, urged Congress, MNS

Earlier in the day, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray said Mr. Khan should be allowed to enter the stadium as “he was not a criminal or a terrorist”.

Mr. Thackeray urged the MCA to open its doors for Mr. Khan as he had already publicly apologised for his behaviour.

In an e-mailed statement to MCA president Ravi Savant, Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee spokesman Sachin Sawant also batted for Mr. Khan.

He said: “After his apology, we feel that it would be in the interest of sports if your esteemed organisation [MCA] shows true sportsman spirit and allows entry to Mr. Khan. It is not the question of Mr. Khan as an actor, but of any citizen — a ban is not a democratic punishment especially when the person has apologised,” Mr. Sawant said. “I request you to kindly reconsider the punishment given to him and allow him entry for today’s (Tuesday’s) match,” the MPCC spokesman wrote.

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