Mumbai:In a show of strength, the Shiv Sena has gone public with a letter sent by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to Bal Thackeray. Printed in the Sena's mouthpiece, Saamna, the letter, written by BCCI Chairman Shashank Manohar, clearly pleads with Thackeray to allow Australian players to participate in the Indian Premier League, starting in March.
Thackeray had originally stated that Australians would not be allowed to play in Maharashtra in retaliation against the repeated attacks against Indians in Melbourne and other parts of Australia. He restated this threat on Monday. Australian players for the Deccan Chargers said they needed a week to decide whether they would pull out of IPL. The Chargers, which won IPL 2 under captain Adam Gilchrist, then threatened to pull out of the IPL.
Hours after that, on Tuesday evening, Thackeray said he had reconsidered, and would not object to Australian participation.
Here's the BCCI letter that, according to the Sena, helped soften Thackeray's stand.
Mr Balasaheb Thackeray
Bandra (E), Mumbai - 400051
Respected Balasaheb Thackeray,
I read your opinion on Australian and Pakistani cricketers in the newspapers. In this connection, on behalf of the BCCI, it is only appropriate that the factual situation be brought to your notice. Hence my decision to write to you.
The Indian Premier League is organising cricket matches in 10 states including Maharashtra between 13th March 2010 and 24th April 2010. Eight Indian teams will be taking part with each team having about 20 players. Of these twelve to fourteen players will be Indian. Of the 11 members in a playing squad it is required that at least 7 players be Indian. So there will only be a maximum of four foreign players in a team.
These players numbering four or less, will be from the 8 countries Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, New Zealand, Australia, West Indies, South Africa, England and Zimbabwe. As this is the Indian Premier League's tournament the entire teams of Australia, Pakistan, England etc will not be taking part. As not a single Pakistani player will be playing in the League this year there is no question of them taking part.
As already mentioned including Australia players from 8 countries will be playing of these only 4 players from 4 countries are allowed to play for a team. From this it will be clear to you that there is no question of the entire Australian team playing in the Indian Premier League.
For the past 75 years the headquarters of the BCCI has been in Mumbai. You and Mumbaikars have always had faith in cricket. In an around Mumbai thousands of budding cricketers play the game and show their enthusiasm for it. Cricket loving Mumbiakars will disappointed if games of the world famous Indian Premier League are not played in Mumbai. Cricket lovers in Mumbai and budding cricketers in and around Mumbai will miss out on the opportunity of watching world famous cricketers and techniques used in the game. Everyone knows of your love for Mumbaikars. As all the facts regarding the tournament have been placed before you I am sure you will not disappoint cricket loving Mumbaikars. You are requested on behalf of the BCCI to reconsider your view on this tournament that will have players from Australia and other countries and co-operate with the BCCI and cricket loving Mumbiakars to make it successful.
Look forward to hearing from you,
President, The Board of Control for Cricket in India