“Don’t lose what you earned on the cricket pitch to politics.” This is the ‘friendly advice’ Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray gave Sachin Tendulkar—the most admired Maharashtrian in the world.
Upset with Tendulkar’s recent statement that Mumbai was for all Indians, Thackeray said Sachin should ‘stick to the cricket pitch and stay away from the political pitch’.
Thackeray warned Tendulkar to think twice before making such statements.
“With that statement, you were ‘run out’ in the pitch of Marathi minds,” Thackeray wrote in an open letter to Tendulkar in Saamna on Monday.
“When Mumbai was won for Maharashtra with the supreme sacrifice of 105 Marathi people, you were not even born.”
Thackeray criticised cricketers saying they only played for themselves.
“What did cricket players like you do when farmers committed suicide, inflation hit the roof and heavy influx ruined Mumbai?” Thackeray asked.
“People applaud when you hit boundaries and sixes but if you lash out at just demands of the Marathi manoos, the latter will never tolerate it.”
The letter said that had Tendulkar not been famous he would have probably ended up in a Sena shakha in Bandra asking for justice because of “trouble” caused by non-Maharashtrians.