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Sena renews threat against Pak players

Hours before a crucial IPL match between Mumbai and Kolkata, the Shiv Sena has renewed its threat to stop Pakistani cricketers from playing in India.

cricket Updated: May 16, 2008 19:36 IST

Hours before a crucial IPL match between hosts Mumbai and Kolkata IPL teams, the Shiv Sena on Friday renewed its threat to stop Pakistani cricketers from playing in India.

The Kolkata team has three Pakistani players -- Shoaib Akhtar, Salman Butt and Umar Gul -- in its ranks and the fresh threat from Shiv Sena, which has come almost a month after the high-profile tournament got underway, is unlikely to have much of an impact.

"They (Pakistanis) are the enemies of the entire nation and we have been opposing their playing here for many years now," Sena Executive President Uddhav Thackeray told reporters in Mumbai.

Kolkata IPL team, owned by actor Shah Rukh Khan, will be playing their first match in Mumbai and both teams need to win the game to brighten their chances of a semi-final berth.

Although Thackeray did not mention the names of any Pakistani players, he was apparently referring to Akhtar, Butt and Gul. Mumbai team, led by champion batsman Sachin Tendulkar, does not have any Pakistani cricketer.

When asked about the party's plan of action against the Pakistani players who will be playing at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai this evening, Thackeray limited himself to saying, "Let the others speak out against them as well."

Over the last two decades, Sena has been opposing Pakistani teams and has indulged in tactics like digging up the pitch at Wankhede Stadium before the match due to which Mumbai has not hosted a single match between arch rivals India and Pakistan for many years now.