The fall-out of the Pulwama terror attack continues. After 40 CRPF jawans were killed in the attacks on February 14, there has been outrage in India and it has come from cricketers. There are increased calls from many quarters for the Indian cricket team to boycott the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 clash against Pakistan which will be played in Manchester on June 16. Sources within The Board of Control for Cricket in India have stated that, “If the government at that point in time feels we shouldn't play, it's obvious that we won't play.” However, the BCCI is trying in their own capacity to respect the sentiments of a vast portion of the Indian public who are calling for a boycott.
According to reports, the BCCI is proposing sending an email requesting the ICC to remove Pakistan from the World Cup as it has provided support to terrorism against India. Another media report stated that the issue will be raised by BCCI CEO Rahul Johri when he meets with the Committee of Administrators on Friday. However, according to BCCI sources, the meeting between the CoA and Johri will be to contemplate future course of action relating to the India vs Pakistan situation and no letter has been written yet. The ICC are scheduled to hold a meeting on February 27 and India are expected to raise this demand.
The outrage over the Pulwama terror attack continued with India legspinner Yuzvendra Chahal calling for decisive action. “This should settle once and for all. We can't tolerate it any longer,” Chahal told India Today. “Every three months we get to hear about our jawans losing their lives to terrorism and we can’t keep waiting for things to happen. It’s high time and we have to make things happen and we should settle this face to face, even if that means aar paar ki ladaai.”
Chahal’s quote comes on the backdrop of Harbhajan Singh who had said India need not play Pakistan in the World Cup. “There is no need for any relations with Pakistan, let alone cricket. Don't play the World Cup match with Pakistan on June 16 -- country comes first for all of us and we are all standing with our forces. I don't care about losing points,” Harbhajan had said earlier.
Speaking on India TV’s cricket show, former India skipper Sourav Ganguly said the sentiment of people asking for the game against Pakistan in the World Cup should be respected. “I feel the government should take strong action on this issue. The aftereffect of this should be strong from India,” Ganguly said.
India have played Pakistan in six World Cup encounters starting from 1992 and have never lost to them. In their recent ICC tournament encounter, Pakistan got the better of India by 180 runs in the final of the Champions Trophy played at The Oval.