A five-year ban on Bollywood actor and Kolkata Knight Riders owner Shah Rukh Khan entering Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium, imposed after a fracas in May 2012, was lifted by the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) on Sunday.
The association, however, decided not to challenge the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI)--imposed life ban on tainted player Ankeet Chavan despite a Delhi court dropping criminal charges against him.
Both the decisions were taken at a MCA meeting with vice-president Ashish Shelar being the proposer.
"Today, in the MCA meeting, it was decided that the ban imposed on IPL's Kolkata franchise owner Shah Rukh Khan should be lifted. With the prior approval of our president Sharad Pawar, it was proposed by me that the ban on him be lifted and the managing committee approved it unanimously. Therefore, the ban on his entry in the Wankhede Stadium has been revoked," Shelar told reporters after the meeting in Mumbai.
Khan was barred from entering the stadium following an altercation with a security guard and MCA officials after an Indian Premier League (IPL) match between KKR and Mumbai Indians in 2012.
The association, which administers the stadium, alleged Khan tried to force his way on to the grounds after the match, and abused and manhandled guards after he was stopped. The decision to ban Khan was taken by the MCA managing committee, headed by the former chief minister of Maharashtra Vilasrao Deshmukh.
Khan, however, had a different story to tell. He said his children were "physically manhandled in the name of security" by guards, which had angered him.
"Action had been taken against him when required and we felt it was not good to take it any further. The whole managing committee consented on it. We felt it would not look good to bar somebody like this," Shelar said.
MCA sources said that Khan had called up Pawar to request that the ban be revoked.
During last year’s IPL final, the MCA was ready to temporarily lift the ban on Khan for a day to bring back the final match between KKR and King’s XI Punjab from Bangalore to Mumbai.
The match was scheduled to take place in Mumbai, the home ground of the 2013 IPL champions, but was moved to Bangalore in a surprise decision by the BCCI.
On Ankeet Chavan, Shelar said the MCA would not stand by a player found guilty under the BCCI's anti-corruption code.
"Ankeet Chavan, who has been cleared of MCOCA (Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act) charges, requested us to convince BCCI to lift the ban on him. But the BCCI has already sent a mail to MCA clearing the factual position on this issue," Shelar said.
"The MCA has therefore decided that it would not challenge BCCI's action against Ankeet which was taken as per the disciplinary committee code and the anti-corruption code. So, we have rejected his request. We unanimously decided that the action against such a player should continue because the court ruling is only on MCOCA. The player has not challenged the BCCI's ruling so how can we?" he added.
(With PTI inputs)