Ahead of the highly anticipated World Cup final between India and Australia, Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Sanjay Raut took a humorous dig at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), alleging that the championship clash at Ahmedabad’s Narendra Modi Stadium carried the trappings of a political event rather than a cricketing spectacle. The grandeur of the world’s largest cricket stadium, with a seating capacity of 1.32 lakh, set the stage for this epic cricket showdown over the weekend.
The Political Cricket Match
With a touch of humor, Raut remarked that it seemed as though PM Modi would be assigned the task of bowling, while Amit Shah would wield the bat, and BJP leaders would be stationed in the outfield as the World Cup final unfolded that day. This observation reflected his perspective that the event appeared to be as much about politics as cricket. The final, which featured two-time champions India against the five-time winners Australia, was held at the renowned Narendra Modi Stadium, recognized as the world’s largest cricketing arena.
A Subtle Jab at PM Modi
In a veiled criticism of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was scheduled to attend the match later in the day, Raut suggested that politics should not infiltrate the world of cricket. He stated that there was no need to inject politics into cricket but added that it seemed to be happening in Ahmedabad. Raut further speculated that it wouldn’t be surprising if, in hindsight, it was heard that India had secured victory in the World Cup solely because PM Modi had graced the event with his presence.
Mumbai’s Loss, Ahmedabad’s Gain?
Raut also raised eyebrows by suggesting that cricket had been shifted from its traditional epicenter, Mumbai, to Ahmedabad, alluding to a political motive by the BJP. PTI quoted Raut who said, “The World Cup (final) is happening in Ahmedabad. Earlier, Mumbai was the Mecca of cricket. All such events were organised in Delhi, Mumbai or at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata. Entire cricket was moved from Mumbai to Ahmedabad because they (BJP) want to a do political event.”
Officials had earlier confirmed the attendance of both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles at the ICC Cricket World Cup final, which marked a significant encounter between the two cricketing powerhouses, precisely two decades after their last championship showdown during the 2003 edition at the Wanderers in Johannesburg, which saw India on the losing side.