Washington/Mumbai : The United States has expressed serious concern over the deteriorating relations between Bollywood superstar Shahrukh Khan and the Mumbai Cricket Association. In a statement, the US Foreign Office hoped the two sides will sit across the table at the Wankhede stadium and sort out their differences.
“The United States of America gives utmost importance to peace in the Indian sub-continent. Incidents such as the one that took place two days ago at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai can aggravate tensions in the region,” the statement said.
A travel advisory has also been issued to Americans not to venture near the Wankhede stadium where the IPL, which (the advisory explains) is a different version of American baseball, is taking place. American nationals are also “advised not to use the words MCA and BCCI as they phonetically resemble swear words in Hindi, which is the national language of India.”
“You would recall whenever Mr Khan visits the USA, we detain him at the airport. But please appreciate, as he himself admitted at Yale University, we detain him only when he is feeling arrogant. We want to reiterate the USA has no role to play in the affairs of the MCA,” a spokesperson of the Foreign Office told Tenali Rama.
Foreign minister S M Krishna has thanked the USA for its concern and has promised swift action to resolve the crisis.
“I spoke to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and personally assured her all will be well soon. I have invited her to the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai the next time she visits India and plant a sapling as a symbol of peace,” he said.
After reports that children were manhandled by security officers at the Wankhede, a concerned Australia too has asked the BCCI for a report on its children who are playing in the IPL. An Australia Cricket Board official told Tenali Rama over phone from Melbourne that kids like Michael Clarke, Brett Lee and Shaun Marsh need to be taken care of.
“At least Adam Gilchrist is grown-up, he can look after himself. And he has a feisty local guardian in Preity Zinta who we are confident, will ensure he is safe,” he said.
Pakistan meanwhile, has accused India of moving troops towards the LoC, taking advantage of the world attention focussed on Shahrukh Khan.
“First they do not let Pakistanis play in the IPL. Then they create these controversies. It is high time Hindoostan puts its own house in order. If they have the courage, meet us on the cricket field, why come on to the battlefield,” a spokesperson of the Pakistan Defence Ministry said.