Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray, who is opposed to the India-Pakistan cricket series, has asked Sena cadres to prevent the forthcoming series starting in Bangalore with a Twenty20 on December 25.
Slamming home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, for his alleged statement to ‘ forget the past’ and move on, Thackeray said: “ Shinde sahib , if you have even an iota of shame then you would withdraw this remark of yours, or else the patriotic people of this country will not allow the matches to take place.” He added that Shinde’s statement to forget the Mumbai terror attack was really unfortunate.
“How can we so easily forget the blood bath that happened in CST because of Pakistani terrorists? How can we forget the wounds that Pakistan has given us?” questioned Thackeray.
Read: BCCI reacts to Shiv Sena threat
In the past Thackeray’s call to disrupt matches between India and Pakistan have been heeded most of the time by his followers. In 1991, Sena activists entered the Wankhede Stadium and dug up a pitch where the teams were to play a Test match.
While the Board of Control for Cricket in India and Pakistan Cricket Board would be relieved to know that there are none of the matches are in Maharashtra. where the Sena could create problems, there have been instances in the past where the Sena has managed to create a ruckus even outside Maharashtra. For instance in 1999, the Delhi unit of the Shiv Sena dug up the Ferozeshah Kotla pitch before an India- Pakistan Test.
There have been other attempts too, though they were unsuccessful. In 2005, the Sena tried to dig up a pitch in Kanpur before a match but were chased away. Meanwhile, the Nationalist Congress Party has criticised Thackeray for threatening to stop the matches. Accusing Thackeray of double speak, NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik said Sena chief Thackeray had met Pakistani cricketer Javed Miandad at his home in Matoshree. He further added that Miandad is now a relative of gangster Dawood Ibrahim.