Four Shiv Sena activists arrested for damaging pitch (8 January 1999)

8 January 1999

Four Shiv Sena activists arrested for damaging pitch

From Upali Rupasinghe in New Delhi

Delhi police on Wednesday night arrested four Shiv Sena activists who extensively damaged the Ferozshah Kotal pitch to protest the decision of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to hold the first Test against Pakistan despite warnings by Shiv Sena Chief Bal Thackeray.

"They have dug up a huge area in the pitch" said a New Delhi police official. The Test slated to begin on January 28 and Delhi Cricket Association officials, said the match would be held as scheduled.

The vandalism occurred hours after Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray was admitted to a Mumbai hospital following complaints of exhaustion and chest pain.

Delhi cricket association president Mr. Rambabu Gupta said: "No one can stop the Test match from being played at the Kotla and it will be held as scheduled.

Controversy caught up with the tour, which will see the arch rivals clashing in a Test after a decade, even before it began with Bal Thackeray threatening not to allow Pakistan cricketers to play on Indian soil unless Islamabad stops helping anti-India activities.

The tour, which starts on January 23 with a three-day match at Gwalior, also includes a three-nation one-day tournament involving Sri Lanka.

A few days ago, Mr. Thckeray had said in Mumbai his party would not allow Pakistan cricketers to play despite security arrangements.

Source :: Daily News (