Shiv Sena threatened Pakistani cricket umpire Aleem Dar on Monday to quit the current series between India and South Africa, leading Pakistan dailies reported on Monday. The reports surfaced shortly after Sena activists stormed the BCCI’s Mumbai office to protest a planned meeting with Pakistan cricket officials.
Dar is part of the ongoing Indian home series against South Africa and is scheduled to officiate in the fifth ODI of the tournament in Mumbai. Shiv Sena issued the threat to him after the Mumbai protest, Indian cricket news website Espncricinfo.com and state-run Radio Pakistan reported.
A Shiv Sena spokesperson, however, denied issuing a threat to Dar.
Earlier on Monday, around three dozen supporters of the Shiv Sena barged into the headquarters of the BCCI and shouted anti-Pakistan slogans at Manohar.
The protesters demanded that the BCCI chief cancel talks with Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Khan that were planned in Mumbai on Monday. The talks were later rescheduled for Tuesday.
Pakistan are due to host India for a full tour in the United Arab Emirates in December -- one of six series the arch-rivals agreed to play between 2015 and 2023 under an agreement signed last year -- pending India’s clearance.
Monday’s protest came a week after Shiv Sena activists threw ink over the organiser of the launch in Mumbai of a book by a former Pakistani foreign minister. Shiva Sena earlier this month used threats to force the cancellation of an appearance in Mumbai by Pakistani singer Ghulam Ali.
The Shiv Sena, a partner in a ruling coalition with the Bharatiya Janata Party in Maharashtra, opposes any dealings with Pakistan citing the 2008 terror attacks which India blamed on militants from across the border.
International Cricket Council (ICC) president and former Pakistan cricketer Zaheer Abbas reacted to Monday’s incident, saying: “Politics and cricket are two different things. Pakistan is not asking India to play in Pakistan. Pakistan is asking for a bilateral series to be played at a neutral venue.”
Manohar had invited Khan for talks on the much-anticipated series scheduled in December. Khan and PCB’s executive committee head Najam Sethi were in the city for the meeting after discussing the planned series with BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur earlier on the sidelines of the ICC meeting in Dubai.
With inputs from agencies