The Hindu right-wing political party Shiv Sena has been an irritant to India-Pakistan relations practically since its inception. The extremist group has made a habit of meddling in non-political areas, such as cricketing relations.
The recent attack on the BCCI headquarters in Mumbai is just one of many occasions when Shiv Sena behaved in a manner that can only be termed ‘special’. And we don’t mean it a nice way.
Here is a look at Shiva Sena’s antics in the past when it came to cricket. We can safely say their tactics have only gotten worse.
1. Dug the Wankhede strip in October 1991
The Shiv Sainiks, as the members of the party are known, dug the pitch in Mumbai to stop Pakistan from playing in the city. As a result the whole series got cancelled.
2. Got the Pakistan-India Test in Mumbai cancelled in 1998
In 1998, when BJP-Shiv Sena coalition government administered the state of Maharashtra, the latter made sure the Test between both the countries did not take place in Mumbai.
The BJP did not support the idea as its late leader Gopinath Munde, who was deputy chief minister of the state, expressed his discontent against it. However, chief minister Manohar Joshi, who belonged to Shiv Sena, cancelled the match at the behest of his party supremo, now late, Balasaheb Thackeray.
3. Dug the Ferozshah Kotla pitch in 1999
This time the Sainiks not only dug up the pitch in the Ferozshah Kotla Stadium in Delhi, they also threatened to release venomous snakes in the ground ahead of Pakistan’s cricket tour of 1999.
Owing to the seriousness of the threat, the BCCI beefed up the security and not only were guards present in the ground but they were also accompanied by twenty-odd snake charmers. The match went on smoothly and is remembered because of Indian spinner Anil Kumble’s 10-wicket haul in the second innings.
4. Damaged India’s 1983 World Cup Trophy in 1999
The Shiv Sainiks vandalised BCCI’s office at Churchgate in Mumbai in the same year and damaged the Indian cricket team’s 1983 World Cup Trophy, won under Kapil Dev.
5. Damaged cricket pitch in Agra in 2003
A veteran’s match between Pakistan and India was to be held in India in Agra Sports Stadium but the Shiv Sainiks were against it and they scratched the pitch to make sure it didn’t happen.
6. Protested India-Pakistan ODI in 2005
If the Sainiks were not enough, the Bharatiya Vidyarthi Sena, the student wing of the party, could be seen in action. The Vidyarthis attempted to prevent the Pakistan-India ODI in April 2005 which was being played in New Delhi.
7. Threatened to disrupt Pakistan’s games in ICC Champions Trophy in 2006
After the Mumbai serial train blasts in July 2006, Shiv Sena could not have gone MIA. They warned that the party would stage protests and disrupt the ICC Champions Trophy matches featuring Pakistan in Jaipur and Mohali. The protest came in the wake of Pakistan’s alleged involvement in the bombings.
8. Opposed participation of Pakistani players in the IPL in 2009
In the second edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), Shiv Sena’s executive president Uddhav Thackeray in 2009 demanded that no Pakistani player should be permitted to participate in the league. Due to his statement, which came after the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai, no Pakistani players have been allowed to participate in the cash-rich tournament.
9. Targeted Shahrukh Khan in 2010
Even the Indian Bollywood star Shahrukh Khan could not escape the extremist tendencies of Shiv Sena when he proposed the participation of Pakistani players in the IPL. The Sainiks threatened to disrupt the screening of his movie My Name is Khan.
10. Claimed the right to allow Pakistan play the final of World Cup 2011 in Mumbai
The Shahid Afridi-led Pakistan team was also a target of the Sainiks in the 2011 World Cup. The party, while issuing a threat, claimed the right to allow or disallow Pakistan to play in Mumbai, if they made it to the final of the tournament.
11. Criticised Pakistan’s short tour to India in 2012
In a 2012 ODI series, Pakistan did not play any matches in Mumbai, again owing to the criticism by Shiv Sena. It maintained its anti-Pakistan stance and emphasised that the visitors will not be allowed to play in Mumbai. The BCCI avoided any unwanted situation and did not schedule any match in Mumbai.
The list was originally compiled by Cricket Country