Mumbai, Nov 20 (PTI) Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Sanjay Raut on Monday alleged cricket great Kapil Dev was deliberately not invited for the World Cup cricket final match in Ahmedabad to ensure that he didn't hog the limelight at the game which was attended by some political leaders.
Speaking to reporters, Raut claimed the BJP had planned to encash the Indian cricket team's success to derive a political mileage but it failed to do so because India lost the game against Australia.
"Kapil Dev had captained the cricket team that won the maiden World Cup for India. He instilled confidence in us that we could win big tournaments. If Dev had been invited, he might have eclipsed the presence of some other political leaders at the Narendra Modi Stadium,” Raut said responding to a query.
In the past, final matches of significant tournaments used to be held in Delhi or Mumbai, which has a legacy of cricket players, said Raut. "However, the lobby of one state that has infiltrated the world of cricket first changed the stadium's name from Sardar Vallabhbai Patel to Narendra Modi Stadium. The BJP also planned to reap the benefits if the Indian cricket team had won the final match.
"An attempt was made to portray the match between the Indian and Australian cricket teams as the one between BJP versus the Australian team. Now you lost in (your) game,” the Rajya Sabha member said.
Dev had told ABP News that he was invited for the final match in Ahmedabad on Sunday.
"They didn’t call me so I did not go. As simple as that. I wanted the whole ’83 team to be there with me but I guess due to the fact that it’s such a big event and people are so busy handling responsibilities, sometimes they forget,” he said. PTI ND NSK