The former spearhead and legend of the game, Shoaib Akhtar has condemned the death of 40 CRPF jawans in the Pulwama Terror Attack on 14th February and also suggested that team India has all right to pull out of the game against Pakistan in World Cup which is scheduled to be played on June 16. However, he did say that BCCI would want to participate in the clash against Pakistan eyeing monetary gains.
Akhtar, during a conversation with a Pakistani news channel, revealed that BCCI has expressed their urge at playing a bilateral series against Pakistan, but the Indian government has denied it every time. The Rawalpindi Express reckons that had India and Pakistan resumed their cricketing ties the broadcasters and BCCI would have earned the maximum money.
"Honest reply, BCCI wants to play with Pakistan, the government says no. Had they played with Pakistan, Star Sports and BCCI would have earned the maximum revenue. The series would have a monetary value of 600 million dollars. Do you think they don't? Of course, they want that. Now speaking on part of their argument, they want to play with Pakistan. Our Pakistan board had mentioned that they want to play a bilateral series and you cannot deny it although the series can be held at a different venue altogether. But they have said that they have a board to run which falls under Supreme Court. That is their argument and that is logical," opined Akhtar.
The Pakistani legend went onto to condemn India for the loss suffered but eventually supported the former Pakistan cricketer and current Prime Minister Imran Khan’s call.
"Should sports stay political? Not at all. So these differences set in matters of circumstances. We strongly condemn the loss of lives. But when it comes to our country, we are one nation, united and we will stand by our Prime Minister's statement without having a second thought," Akhtar added.
"They have a right to pull out. Their country was attacked and hence the decision. You cannot argue on that?"
Akhtar did criticise the former Indian cricketers for antagonising the situation in the wake of the terror strike in Kashmir Valley. "Our forte is to talk about cricket and not about the political scene. When such things happen, try to create bridges as a cricketer. It is very important as players to talk about things that bring about unity rather than antagonising the situation," he added.