MUMBAI: Talks on an India-Pakistan series were on Monday cancelled after Shiv Sena activists stormed into the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) office to protest against the meeting with the Pakistan Cricket board to discuss the India-Pakistan bilateral series slated for December.
Around 40 to 50 members broke into the BCCI’s headquarters at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai and “gheraoed” president Shashank Manohar, saying, “We will not allow any cricket ties with Pakistan.”
The Shiv Sainiks charged into the office chanting ‘vande matram’ and slogans against PCB chief Shahryar Khan. They were carrying saffron flags of the party and black flags to condemn resumption of Indo-Pak cricketing ties.
However, protesting workers were later taken away by police.IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla strongly condemned the attack. “Strongly condemns the attack on BCCI Office by Shiv Sena,” Shukla, a top BCCI functionary, wrote on his twitter handle.
“BCCI is a responsible body and will not do anything against national interest. Cricketing decisions should be left to BCCI.””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.
Reacting to the incident, Congress leader Manish Tewari said, “Law and order has completely broken down in Maharashtra. Ghulam Ali, Kasuri ji and now Shahryar Khan- this is this how you treat guests.”
Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman Shaharyar Khan and head of the PCB’s executive committee Najam Sethi on Sunday left for India in a bid to convince the BCCI to confirm the bilateral series in December.
Khan and Sethi were expected to meet with the new BCCI President Shashank Manohar and Secretary Anurag Thakur along with other government officials in New Delhi.
“The trip is being made on the invitation of Shashank Manohar who took over as the new Indian cricket chief,” a official in the PCB had said.