Australia won’t be allowed to play in Maharashtra: Bal Thackeray

Anguished over the attacks on Indians, Sena chief questions the need to play cricket with Aussies.

Updated: Jan 13, 2010, 23:46 PM IST

Pune: In the wake of attacks on Indians in Australia, Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray on Wednesday said his party would not allow the Down Under team to play cricket in Maharashtra.

Expressing anguish over the violence against Indians in Australia, Thackeray said, "Our boys are being stabbed, burnt and shot at in that country and still our cricketers have no qualms in playing with them. Do they have any national pride?".

In the Sena announcement banning Australian cricketers
in Maharashtra, front-paged in the party mouthpiece `Saamana`,
he recalled that his activists had taken a similar step
against Pakistani cricketers who still cannot play in the

The Sena supremo also had a word of praise for actor
Amitabh Bachchan who, he said, displayed a patriotic spirit
when he politely refused an award in his honour from
Queensland University in protest against the incidents in

"I would have been happy if our cricketers too had
shown similar self-respect in the matter. But cricket has
become a game of money and self-respect and patriotism have
taken a back-seat," Thackeray commented.