Kalinga Sena threatens IPL matches, wants Aussies out (Lead)

February 18th, 2010 - 6:53 pm ICT by IANS  

Bhubaneswar, Feb 19 (IANS) Kalinga Sena, a fringe political outfit in Orissa, Thursday threatened to disrupt Indian Premier League (IPL) matches in the state next month if its conditions - such as not letting the Australians play - were not met.

“We have set four conditions. If they are not fulfilled, we will not allow the matches to happen,” Kalinga Sena president Hemanta Rath told IANS, referring to the IPL games scheduled in Barabati Stadium in Cuttack in March.

“We will not allow the Australians to play here because Indian students are attacked in their country. We want an assurance from the BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) and IPL that the Australians will not be playing here,” he said.

Rath also sought an assurance from organisers that there would be no cheerleaders dancing at the matches and also asked the BCCI to explain why no player from Orissa was included in the East Zone Duleep Trophy cricket team.

Terming the IPL matches as “gambling”, Rath also sought criminal cases against various industrialists and actors involved in the bidding process for IPL.

“If police can arrest a poor man on the charge of gambling, why can’t cases be registered against these people,” he asked.

Reacting to the threat, the Orissa Cricket Association (OCA) said this was a ploy by the Kalinga Sena to derive political mileage.

“Even the Shiv Sena is allowing Australian cricketers to play in Maharastra. This (kind of) opposition is not in the best interest of cricket. This is the first time OCA has got a chance to host an IPL match. Instead of celebrating it, they are opposing it,” said Ashirbad Behera, secretary of the association.

“Kalinga Sena is a political outfit and should concentrate on politics for the betterment of the party. They are doing politics over cricket, and only hampering the interest of Orissa cricket,” Behera added.

Reacting to the non-inclusion of Orissa players in the East Zone Duleep Trophy cricket, he said, “We are taking up the issue with the BCCI and Kalinga Sena, a political outfit, should not bother about that.”

Cuttack, a non-IPL franchisee city, got a chance to host the matches after the Hyderabad-based franchisee Deccan Chargers picked Barabati Stadium there as a venue, terming it as their “catchment” area.

As per the revised IPL schedule, the Deccan Chargers will meet Kings XI Punjab March 19, and Delhi Daredevils March 21 at the Barabati Stadium.

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