Sticking to its stand of not allowing any Pakistani players to play in Mumbai, the Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray is believed to have called up Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) president Ravi Savant to dissuade him from hosting the Pakistan women’s cricket team during the ICC Women’s World Cup scheduled to be held from January 31 to February 17, MiD DAY has learnt.
Sources said that the MCA president told Thackeray to speak to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) regarding the issue. Savant, it is learnt, would act as per the BCCI’s guidelines. The ICC Women’s World Cup will be played at MCA’s Bandra Kurla Complex ground, MIG Cricket Club, Bandra (East), Brabourne Stadium and the Wankhede Stadium. Pakistan is scheduled to play all their three league matches on January 31, February 3 and 5 at the BKC ground, which is close to Thackeray’s residence Matoshree in Bandra (East).
The MCA president could not be reached later despite repeated attempts. MCA’s joint honorary secretary Nitin Dalal could not confirm Shiv Sena’s phone call to Savant, but said, “I am not aware of anything as such (the call). I heard the Shiv Sena opposed participation of some Pakistani hockey players at the Mumbai Hockey Association. It is definitely a worry as they could also oppose the Pakistan women’s cricket team during the ICC Women’s World Cup. I don’t have any intimation so far though. We might have extra security cover for the Pakistan team in that case,” he added.