Chief Minister Ashok Chavan on Tuesday said his government would provide adequate security to Australian cricketers playing in Indian Premier League (IPL) matches here, virtually challenging the Shiv Sena’s stand.
“We are not afraid of any threats,” Chavan said, referring to Sena’s opposition to Aussie cricketers playing in Mumbai in the backdrop of attacks on Indians in Australia. “Adequate security would be provided to all Australian and IPL players,” he added.
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar, who also heads the Mumbai Cricket Association, and Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) chief Shashank Manohar had recently met Sena chief Bal Thackeray and requested him to allow Australian cricketers to play in IPL matches here.
Thackeray is yet to make his stand clear on the issue.
At a function on Monday, he made a reference to the issue by saying the Sena had always been against Aussie cricketers playing in Mumbai, but did not make clear what was his stand on the issue at present, especially after Pawar’s meeting.
Monday’s reference to the issue has sent conflicting messages among party workers who are still awaiting Thackeray’s final word on the issue.