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Shiv Sena renews its attack on Pakistani players
May 16, 2008 15:08 IST
Last Updated: May 16, 2008 17:03 IST
Hours before the crucial Indian Premier League match between hosts Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders, the Shiv Sena renewed its threat to stop Pakistani cricketers from playing in India.
Kolkata Knight Riders have three Pakistani players -- Shoaib Akhtar [Images], Salman Butt [Images] and Umar Gul -- in their ranks and the fresh threat from the Shiv Sena, which has come almost a month after the high-profile tournament got underway, is unlikely to have much of an impact.
"They (Pakistanis) are the enemies of the entire nation and we have been opposing their playing here for many years now," Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray told reporters in Mumbai on Friday.
Kolkata Knight Riders, owned by actor Shah Rukh Khan [Images], are playing their first match in Mumbai and both teams need to win the game to brighten their chances of a semi-final berth.
Although Thackeray did not mention the names of any Pakistani players, he was apparently referring to Akhtar, Butt and Gul.
Mumbai Indians, led by champion batsman Sachin Tendulkar [Images], does not have any Pakistani cricketer.
Asked about the party's plan of action against the Pakistani players who will be playing at the Wankhede Stadium on Friday evening, Thackeray limited himself to saying, "Let the others speak out against them as well."
Over the last two decades, the Sena has opposed Pakistani teams playing in the country and even indulged in tactics like digging the pitch at the Wankhede Stadium before the match, due to which Mumbai has not hosted a match between the arch rivals for many years now.