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5-year Wankhede ban for SRK,Didi & Board signal support

The managing committee of the MCA at an emergency meeting today banned Shah Rukh Khan from entering the Wankhede Stadium for five years.

Written by Express News Service | Mumbai |
May 19, 2012 1:46:06 am

The managing committee of the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) at an emergency meeting today banned Shah Rukh Khan from entering the Wankhede Stadium for five years. The filmstar co-owner of Kolkata Knight Riders had allegedly misbehaved with MCA officials and security staff after his team’s away match against the Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede on Wednesday night.

MCA president Vilasrao Deshmukh said Khan had abused MCA officials without provocation and manhandled a security guard in the presence of BCCI and IPL officials.

“Shah Rukh had no regrets for his actions and misbehaviour. He,in fact,has justified his action of manhandling the security guard and abusing and threatening MCA officials. The managing committee is forced to ban him,” the MCA chief said.

IPL commissioner Rajeev Shukla,who is also Deshmukh’s colleague in the Congress party and the union council of ministers,however,hinted that the MCA’s decision could be overturned.

“The final decision will be taken by BCCI. MCA can only make a recommendation,” Shukla said in Delhi.

But Deshmukh appeared to insist that the MCA had the power to ban Khan.

“BCCI is our parent body and we have written to them informing them of what happened. We are also an independent body with the Wankhede being our property. The incident happened in front of the BCCI and IPL officials and more than 50 per cent of our managing committee members were witness to it,” Deshmukh said.

A Board official said the Wankhede’s ‘ownership’ during the IPL was somewhat more complicated. “Technically MCA has leased Wankhede to BCCI and IPL for this league. So MCA is not the only ground authority,and thus they don’t have the final say in who enters the ground,” the official said.

MCA officials countered this,saying the BCCI never overturns decision taken by its units. “There have been several cases in the past when state units have taken important decisions,and the apex body always supports it,” said an MCA official.

MCA vice-president and BCCI CAO Ratnakar Shetty said that had the officials present not shown restraint,things could have easily spun completely out of control.

“This is an unprecedented situation. We have never come across such an incident in the last five years at the Wankhede Stadium. It was extreme restraint shown by the MCA officials in the face of abusive language being hurled at them. It could have led to an ugly incident,” Shetty said.

In Kolkata,West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee urged the MCA to reconsider. “It (the ban on SRK) is undemocratic and unwarranted. I will appeal please reconsider the decision. I think that harsh punishment has been meted out for a minor offence,” she said.

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