Feud between Sourav Ganguly-BJP continues over Imran Khan's portrait at Eden Gardens
Former India skipper Sourav Ganguly has reiterated he would not remove the poster of Pakistani PM and former captain Imran Khan’s portrait from the clubhouse of the iconic Eden Gardens as the row just keeps on getting extended. In the wake of the Pulwama attack, which was carried out by Pakistan-based militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed and had claimed the lives of 44 CRPF personnel, the Indian cricketing fraternity had taken several measures to further distance itself from Pakistan. Removing the photos and other memorabilia of Pakistani cricketers was one such step.
Mumbai’s Cricket Club of India (CCI) had started it all by covering Imran Khan‘s image at its ‘Porbandar all rounders’ restaurant. Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association, Punjab Cricket Association, Karnataka State Cricket Association and Rajasthan Cricket Association soon followed suit by removing Pakistan cricket related material from their stadium galleries. Later the BCCI had pulled down memorabilia and photos of Pakistani cricketers from its headquarters in Mumbai.
However, the Cricket Association of Bengal went against the anti-Pakistan sentiment in the country and decided not to take off Imran Khan’s portrait. There was a big demonstration from Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) workers outside the stadium last month but it did not make much difference. CAB president Ganguly has now once again made it clear he would ‘stick to his earlier position’ which was not to remove the portrait.
Many see this as a political fight. The fight between BJP and Ganguly is seen by many as a proxy one between the BJP and Trinamool Congress, the ruling party in the state. Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee had backed Ganguly for the post of CAB president four years ago.
ICC gives Pakistan fitting reply:
Far away from the premises of Eden Gardens, the BCCI and the PCB were once again at the loggerheads after the former sent a letter to the International Cricket Council (ICC), asking the governing body to take a step against India for politicising the game. Team India players had donned military caps during the Ranchi ODI against Australia as a mark of tribute for the Pulwama victims. However, the ICC later confirmed that the BCCI had sought prior permission, thus leaving the PCB red-faced.