The Indian Premier League may see the extension of hostilities generated during India’s recent tour of Australia, media reports said.
A Kolkata-based newspaper quoted an unnamed senior Indian player to this effect, hinting at a strong possibility that the Australian players would get a hostile reception.
The unnamed senior player, commenting on the availability of Australian players for IPL, said it will be better if they did not turn up.
About 12 Australians, including Shane Warne, Glen McGrath, Ricky Ponting, Andrew Symonds, Adam Gilchrist and Mathew Hayden have signed up for various IPL teams. The tournament starts on April 18 and the final is on June 1.
In Australia, Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh was on the receiving end of taunts from the crowd. Mathew Hayden described Harbhajan Singh as an obnoxious little weed and Andrew Symonds alleged Harbhajan called him a monkey.
Harbhajan Singh plays for Mumbai in the IPL, and the Hyderabad vs Mumbai matches, with Andrew Symonds on the Hyderabad side would be keenly watched. Same is the case when Mumbai IPL takes on Chennai, which has Mathew Hayden in its ranks.
Kolkata team’s Ricky Ponting’s encounters with Harbhajan will also be a match to watch. Though the newspaper did not identify the senior player who made the remark, there is intense speculation that it would be Sourav Ganguly, as he hails from Kolkata. Sourav Ganguly is also the icon player of Kolkata team, owned byShah Rukh Khan.
Our take: Will Sourav Ganguly say something like that? More importantly, is the relationship between the Indian and the Australian teams that bad? We wish for the sake of the sport that it is not so. Rivalry is fine, enmity is not.