Mumbai:Dubbing the auctioning of cricketers by the BCCI-promoted Indian Premier League as "a gambling game of industrialists" Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray asked the Cricket Board President Sharad Pawar to stop it.
In an open letter to Pawar published on the front page of Friday's edition of Sena mouthpiece Samana, Thackrey said such an open display of wealth does not augur well for Indian cricket where players are being auctioned for money.
He said the whole thing was started only to checkmate the Indian Cricket League (ICL), the rebel league promoted by the Subhash Chandra-led Essel Group.
The auction of over 60 players, including those from other Test playing countries, was held here on Wednesday.
"Oh Pawar, what is happening in the realm of cricket?," said the Sena chief, who is the newspaper's editor.
"These industrialists are throwing money in your cricket field as a result of which cricket is getting corrupt. Cricketers are being purchased, as a result of this their concentration will not be in the game and the sport will decline in this country," he warned.
"If this is how industrialists wield their money then a day will come when there will be no need of government because it will be the industrialists who will call the shots and run the country," Thackeray said.
"Stop this gambling of industrialists and save cricket. You (Pawar) have the guts to do it, don't you?" the letter added.
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The IPL auction of cricketers is drawing severe criticism from other political leaders as well. Janata Dal (United) leader Sharad yadav has called the auction a national shame and a violation of human dignity.