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Rampaging Shiv Sena Goons Force BCCI to Scrap Talks with PCB

... HT:

Shiv Sena Goons stormed the office of the Board of Control for Cricket in India to protest a bilateral series slated for December, forcing officials of the Indian and Pakistan cricket boards to put off talks schedule for Monday.

“The talks are not happening as of now due to the current situation but you cannot say that it won’t happen in future,” PTI quoted a top unnamed BCCI as saying.

The Sena activists had barged into the BCCI office, chanted slogans against Pakistan Cricket Board chief Khan and “gheraoed” BCCI president Shashank Manohar’s desk saying they will not allow any cricketing ties with the neighbouring country. They also reportedly shouted anti-Pakistan slogans.

The activists were later taken away by the police.

The meeting between Manohar and his Pakistan counterpart Shahryar Khan was the latest event affected by the right-wing party which has been protesting against anything that has to do with Pakistan.

Earlier this month, Sena workers had thrown ink on Observer Research foundation’s chairperson and former BJP leader Sudheendra Kulkarni who had organised the book launch of former Pakistan foreign minister Mahmud Khurshid Kasuri and stopped famous Ghazal singer Ghulam Ali from performing in Mumbai.

IPL chairperson Rajeev Shukla “strongly” condemned the attack on the BCCI’s headquarters at the Wankhede Stadium.

“BCCI is a responsible body and will not do anything against national interest. Cricketing decisions should be left to BCCI,” Shukla, who is also a top BCCI functionary, wrote on Twitter.

“Cricket is a gentleman’s game and the spirit of the game expects same generosity and tolerance from those who love the game,” he further tweeted.

International Cricket Council (ICC) president and former Pakistan cricketer Zaheer Abbas also reacted to the incident, saying, “Politics and cricket are two different things. Pakistan is not asking India to play in Pakistan. Pakistan is asking for a bilateral series to be played at a neutral venue.”

Manohar had invited Khan for talks on the much-anticipated series scheduled in December. Khan and PCB’s executive committee head Najam Sethi were in the city for the meeting after discussing the planned series with BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur earlier on the sidelines of the ICC meeting in Dubai.

Thakur had assured him a final decision could be taken later this month and conveyed Manohar’s invitation to visit India. Speculation are rife that India and Pakistan could play either a bilateral series in the UAE or agree to a possible triangular series in December also involving Bangladesh.