Mumbai: It's BCCI versus the Maharashtra over Shah Rukh Khan. While the Mumbai Cricket Association on Friday banned the actor from the Wankhede Stadium for five years following the scuffle at the ground, the BCCI maintains its just a recommendation and they will take the final call.
Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) President Vilasrao Deshmukh said, "We have banned Mr Shah Rukh Khan from the Wankhede stadium for five years."
24 hours of frayed tempers and flip-flops later, a stern decision coming from the Mumbai Cricket Association that of banning Shah Rukh Khan from Wankhede stadium for his scuffle with MCA officials Wednesday night.
MCA Vice-President Ratnakar Shetty said, "I must applaud the MCA for their restraint, or it would have been uglier than it already is."
The five-year ban is a climbdown from the life ban MCA officials had earlier proposed and came soon after sources at the MCA said they not ban the star at all if he apologised.
Shah Rukh Khan, who is also the franchise owner of IPL team Kolkata Knight Riders and an avid cricket fan often seen at cricket matches, has already made it clear it is he who is owed an apology.
Confusion on whether the BCCI could ultimately revoke the ban remained, with an apparent split between BCCI and MCA officials on the issue. IPL Chairman Rajiv Shukla said, "The final decision on the ban rests with BCCI."
Deshmukh added, "The MCA is an independent association. All these properties are owned by MCA."
Support for Shah Rukh Khan came from other quarters though. Royal Challengers Bangalore owner Vijay Mallya said, "All I know is that Shah Rukh Khan is passionate about cricket and about children." Meanwhile, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee said, "I appeal to all to please reconsider the decision."
So far, Shah Rukh himself has remained mum on the ban even as one top KKR official tweeted, "Banning Shah Rukh from Wankhede is as good as Gautam Gambhir being banned from Mehboob Studio."
But it will be interesting to see if Shah Rukh does climb down from his stand, given that he will now have to avoid this stadium for the next five years.