Australian cricketers can’t play in Maharashtra : Bal Thackeray

Mumbai, Jan 13 ( In the wake of the ongoing attacks on Indians in Australia, Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray Wednesday warned that his party would not permit the Australian cricket team to play in the city and state.

In a statement in the party mouthpiece “Saamna”, Thackeray also rebuked the Indian cricketers for continuing to play with the Australian team.

“We shall not allow the Australian team to play in Mumbai and Maharashtra till the attacks on Indians in their land are stopped,” he said.

Expressing his anguish over the increasing cases of violence against Indians, Thackeray also castigated the Indian team for playing with the Australian team.

“Self respect or national pride seems to be missing in the Indian players these days. Our boys are being stabbed, burnt and shot at in that country (Australia) and still our cricketers have no qualms about playing with that country’s cricketers,” Thackeray said.

Recalling his party’s ‘ban’ on Pakistani players, he said that the Sena had taken a stand of not permitting the players of that country to play in the city and the state.

“Pakistan has been launching terror attacks in India and killing innocent people. They continue to invade Kashmir. They besieged Mumbai by attacking Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus and the Taj Mahal Palace & Tower Hotel,” he said, reiterating the party’s stand on the issue.

Earlier Wednesday, “Saamna” executive editor and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut told mediapersons that Thackeray had spoken his mind about cricket and the party would abide by his decision.

It is not clear what the party’s stand would be on the T-20 matches of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in which there are several Australian players.