Pak hockey players benched, women cricketers may shift to Ahmedabad
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According to the current schedule, the Pakistani team will arrive in Mumbai on January 26 and play its league games at the MCA-Bandra Kurla complex, which is a few kilometres from the Thackeray residence.
Monday also saw the Shiv Sena getting some unexpected support from the Congress, the ruling party in Maharashtra. Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi justified the Sena's protests against the participation of Pakistani players, attributing it to the prevailing anger in the country over last week's killing of two Indian soldiers.
"There is anger in the country. They are expressing it differently. The Shiv Sena is also angry. I can't say their anger is not justified but together with josh (passion), there should also be hosh (reason)," Alvi said.
Asked whether Pakistani players should be allowed to play in the hockey league, he said: "It is for the government to decide."
The Congress has taken an aggressive stance vis-a-vis Pakistan since the killing of the soldiers, saying India's patience is "running thin" and "our protest this time should be the last protest".