Shiv Sena, cricket isn’t for creeps

Published: February 19, 2011

Keep the protests off our cricket field!

Once again, politics has interfered in cricket. The spirit of sportsmanship, that players struggle to maintain received a severe blow when right-wing party Shiv Sena announced that it would decide if Pakistan will be ‘allowed’ to play in Mumbai if the team reaches the final.

A senior member of the party, Manohar Joshi  told the press earlier this week:

“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.

Mr. Thackeray will decide (whether to allow Pak team to play or not).

(The Hindu, February 17, 2011)

While competitive gibes are part of any sport, certain nationalist elements have taken the name calling to a new level.

Keep politics out of the pitch!

This is not the first time Indian right-wing politics has delved uninvited in to the cricket pitch.

Members of Shiv Sena destroyed a pitch at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium in 1991 and vandalised another pitch at Feroz Shah Kotla Grounds in New Delhi in 1999.

In 2010, the party protested against the release of his film My Name is Khan after Shahrukh Khan – who stars in the film – made a statement that Pakistani players should be included in Indian Premier League.

Jumping the gun

The World Cup has not even started yet. Neither team has played a single match. It is therefore, nothing short of ridiculous for a political group to make a statement about the final (which is more than a month away) of the tournament. The goal, it seems, can only to express hate and increase political tension.

This is unfortunate as cricket fans in both India and Pakistan will suffer from the politicization of the sport. Cricket should be kept free of politics and the tension between the countries should remain at the borders. A cricket ground is a pure place where the audience hopes to receive entertainment. Politics has no place here.


Raja Yousuf

An MBA graduate and a cricket Fanatic

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • kjjee

    is this not clear enough message that india can never be friends/decent neighbour to Pakistan. Oh no no no leave Veena Malik alone, she is promoting “PEACE”. Snap out of your delusions liberals.Recommend

  • Sunil

    Dear Author,
    There is nothing to worry about what Shiv Sena or entities like it say. Bunch of people and groups like Shiv Sena are despised in India as well. Neither they represent our govt. nor they have got any hold on power. If they try to create problems, they will certainly be dealt with appropriately.Recommend

  • Indian

    @kjjee: Ya this is clear message to pakistan that we do not need any freeindship with this country Recommend

  • Usama Zafar

    You should also realize that people like Thackeray don’t speak for the majority of the Indians either!!Recommend

  • Real Indian

    @kjjee: Its coz of u cynical extreme minded people that we can have never been able too become frnds….unfortunate for u n the country u belong to….

  • Parvez

    Bal Thackeray started off as a news paper cartoonist before getting into politics. So he understands the power on the press and how to manipulate events to keep himself visible. The Cricket World cup is too good an opportunity for him to pass up.
    Agree with Sunil’s comments and hope we see some good cricket like the Bangladesh and India opening game.Recommend

  • kjjee

    Well I hope Sunil you are right!

    @ others, we will always be cynical of india but not “extreme minded” mind it.Recommend

  • Rehman

    @kjjee: stop this hate mongerng against india!!it is a country with whom u hae to lie your life with!!!what common do you have with the chinese or so called brothers the muslim world!we identify more with india and turkey than the muslim world!!its people like you who probably were responsible for the attacks in mumbai!!indians u know what it isnt easy for us to get rid of anti india terrorists in our country but we are tryinRecommend

  • ifesvr

    The Shiv Sena recd 1.55% votes in the 2009 Indian general elections out of the 400+ m. who voted, or a mere 0.54% of the total 1.2 b. population. It is unfortunate you have to make a generalization based on their opinion.Recommend

  • Noor-ul-ain Hanif

    Now the so called shiv sena has also banned Pakistani artist to perform in any indian movie!!Recommend

  • Unbiased

    we must thank kjjee for this debate, Shiv Sena are thugs looking for cheap publicity although Pakistan should be grateful to them for implying that the team is good enough to reach the finals. See you in Mumbai Mr. Thackray and hope you will hand over the cup to Afridi in good faith!Recommend

  • Manoj

    Bal Thakrey and his goons has no real mass base. They survive on media publicity and to get media space they can speak any thing and against any one. Hence, by discussing such creature in print and electronic media we the common Indian and Pakistani are doing a great favour to him. He exactly wanted this i.e to be discussed and remain in limelight.
    I request all my Pakistani friends, not to get carried away by Thakrey, he does not represent India or mood of Indian People.
    This man can not even celebrate his birthday publically in Mumbai out of fear, he never travel to even parts of Mumabi forget the out of Maharashtra. He is a coward, and has been limited himself to his fortified house for the last so many year.

    Yes I do agree, most of the time state Government of Maharshtra, just to avoid unnecessary dispute and disturbance of peace by the handful of goons of shivsena has ignored Thakrey’s provoking statement and media is ever eager to give more than required publicity to his statement.
    Government of Maharashtra needs to show will to put such element in Jail, even if it result in one time disturbance in Mumbai.Recommend

  • Rahul

    **Dear Friends,
    Bal Thackrey is a spent force and these issues are deliberately raked-up in a bid to remain relevant.

    I do not think many people take him seriously on issues like such. India has both the Will and the Determination to deal with fringe elements like these.
    As for friendship, well, most people in India are indeed well wishers to fellow Pakistanis. It is incidents like 26/11 or numerous other acts like such which put huge strain on an already tenuous relationship.

    Had Pakistan taken concrete steps to ensure Mumbai attackers were punished, it would have given a huge positive boost to the prevailing atmosphere.

    In India, a fair trial is going on against samjhouta and ajmer blast accused and most of the people are already behind bars.

    Let us spread Peace and not hatred!

    Regards, Rahul


  • Monex

    …………..Mumbai Feb 17 IANS Two days before the World Cup begins the Shiv Sena Thursday again raked up the issue of opposing Pakistani cricketers from playing in Mumbai or anywhere else in the country…Senior party leader and former Lok Sabha speaker Manohar Joshi said that the partys stand on the issue is well known and would be fully pursued…..If the Pakistani team reaches the final of the World Cup Bal Thackeray will decide over the issue. After getting his signal we shall do the needful Joshi said at a media interaction here…..The World Cup finals are scheduled to be held in Mumbais Wankhede Stadium April 2…..Though a staunch cricket lover in the past Thackeray had directed the partys opposition to Pakistani players both in Test matches and One-dayers as well as in the Indian Premier League……..Recommend

  • kjjee

    Interesting to see so many indians visiting this news website and commenting. Nothing wrong in that. I never implied the extremist mindset! Having said that you can see the hate mongering yourself from a majority of indians(examples above!)

    Also, my comments were edited, i’m not taking a swipe on liberals but extremist liberals in pakistan.Recommend

  • Saddi

    Dear Author
    Just Leave the Stupid Indians aside and focus on the World Cup. enjoy each and every ball of it.
    No buddy can stop Pakistan to play in the Final if they reach and they will “InshAllah” Recommend

  • Hassan Manzoor Malik

    Only one line sentence on this cheap people have cheap thinking……. Recommend

  • Mahar

    I agree with you. He just want be popular through this amazing occasion. because he know that this is a great opportunity to became more popular in all over the world nothing else. I don’t know Team Pakistan will reach in Final or not but Bal Thackeray (An Indian Terrorist) will must be successful in his AIM to became on Media. Love Pakistan Recommend