Will Sena allow Pak team to play in Mumbai?
Creating a fresh controversy, a senior Shiv Sena leader has put a question mark on the fate of the final match of the cricket World Cup.
"You all know Sena chief Bal Thackeray's views. If the Pakistan team reaches the final (scheduled in Mumbai), whether to allow them to play, the Sena chief will decide," said senior Sena leader Manohar Joshi.
Image: Bal Thackeray
Photographs: Sahil Salvi
'Thackeray will decide'
"Thackeray will decide (whether to allow Pakistan team to play or not)," Joshi, whose party has been vehemently opposing cricket ties between the two neighbours, for Pakistan's 'support to terrorism in India', told reporters.
The former Lok Sabha Speaker's statement comes after Pakistan cricket team captain Shahid Afridi said a possible duel with India in the World Cup final would be ideal for the tournament and a boost to international cricket, drawing billions of viewers.
Image: Shahid Afridi
Photographs: Vivek Prakash/Reuters
Will it be a Indo-Pak final?
Arch-rivals Pakistan and India are in separate groups of the 14-team World Cup. The event is being jointly hosted by India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh and starts on February 19.
The April 2 final is being held at the renovated Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
Maharashtra Navnirman Sena leader Shishir Shinde, who was then a part of the Shiv Sena, dug up the Wankhede pitch in 1991 to oppose Indo-Pak matches.
Image: Wankhede stadium