Blast from the past: When Ricky Ponting shoved Sharad Pawar off the platform

Supremo Sharad Pawar has once again proved he is the old warhorse and a strong Maratha man. Within three days of the revolt, he not only managed to keep his flock together but succeeded in getting Ajit resigned, causing the fall of the 4-day old Fadnavis government.

Almost all MLAs of the NCP have returned to Pawar fold leaving Ajit Pawar isolated.

Sharad Pawar said, throwing a challenge to the BJP, that "Maharashtra is not Goa, Manipur or Arunachal Pradesh or Karnataka".

This led to one Twitter user joking that the only person who could push Sharad Pawar off a stage was Ricky Ponting!

He was referring to an incident in 2006 when an over-eager Ricky Ponting pushed Pawar off the dais after being presented the Champions Trophy in 2006.

It led to howl of outrage. The all-conquering Aussie team wasn’t known for its civility and Pawar was the BCCI president at the time.

Pawar later told the Sydey Morning Herald: "I will not react to this other than to say it was totally uncivilised. This is not good at all, but I have decided to play it down because we have an extremely good relationship with the Australian board and we would like that to keep going.”

He added: “Those players were not allowed to come onto the dais. It was only supposed to be the captain. Certainly, I would accept an apology because then we could close this chapter. The Australian board is headed by a respected and civilised man and our relationship is extremely good. If they apologise, it would be a good signal to the people in this country.”

Ponting later called Pawar to apologise and the CA also wrote a letter.

Sharad Pawar, who first became chief minister at the age of 38, four decades ago, is still at the centre of Maharashtra politics. He has been the chief minister thrice and Union minister many times. He last demitted office in 2014 when the UPA lost the mandate. Since then the NCP was a marginal player both at the Centre and in the state.

But after October 24, 2019 assembly results, Sharad Pawar has been at the centerstage, from meeting Shiv Sena leaders mid way on road to meeting Uddhav Thackeray in hotel Trident -- all political activity was monitored by him.

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