Shiv Sena mouthpiece Saamna has said that cricketer Sachin Tendulkar has not “helped” Marathi players.
Rather, Sunil Gavaskar had extended such help in his career, it said.
In his weekly column on Sunday, Saamna Executive Editor and Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut came down heavily on Tendulkar.
“There is no instance of Sachin, who no doubt is a big player, extending a helping hand to any Marathi player. He did not even help (a close friend) Vinod Kambli,” said Raut. “On the other hand, Sunil Gavaskar appears a true Marathi.”
“During Gavaskar’s captaincy the Indian team had more Marathi players.
Gavaskar ensured that Suru Nayak and Zulpikar Parkar Parkar played Test cricket -- so did several other Marathi players, albeit very few matches.”
Earlier, Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray had slammed Tendulkar for saying that Mumbai belonged to all Indians.
Justifying Thackeray’s “advice” to Sachin that he better played the game and stayed away from politics, Raut said that cricketers could not be compared with revolutionaries such as Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Bhagat Singh and Rajguru, who sacrificed their lives for the country.
Singh and Rajguru went to the gallows in 1931 while Tilak died a natural death in 1920.
The publication said that Mumbai was in Maharashtra not because of Tendulkar’s cricket records but because of the hundreds of local people who laid down their lives fighting for it.