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Aussies can play in IPL: Thackeray

February 16, 2010 20:28 IST

Australian players can play in the third edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) after all.

In softening its earlier stand, the Shiv Sena has said that it won't target Australian players who come to play in the IPL this year in Maharashtra.

Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray said on Tuesday that they have decided to allow Australian players to play in the IPL after meetings with NCP leader Sharad Pawar and BCCI chief Shashank Manohar.

Thackeray said that the two told him that it was not the Australian team that was coming to play in India but only four to five players who would be playing.

Thackeray also said that since a disruption would also 'hurt Maharashtrian and Indian players' they have decided to allow the Australian players to participate in IPL III.

Thackeray, however, hinted while the Sena would allow Australian players to play in IPL III they are still opposed to the whole Australian team as whole from coming to India unless the attacks on Indians stops.

"Our issue has not been properly understood, we only wanted the attack on Indians abroad to be stopped, and that the government should take cognizance and some action on the issue. We are not opposed to cricket as such,."said Thackeray.

The news would come as a huge relief to sports lovers in the country as the Australian players were jittery about coming to the country after the Sena threat.

Tuesday's statement by the Sena chief also shows that the visit of Pawar has yielded the desired results.

A detailed statement by Thackeray on the issue will appear in the Sena mouthpiece Sammna on Wednesday.

Ganesh Kumar