The Pulwama terror attack which resulted in the death of 40 CRPF jawans has impacted India and Pakistan cricket relations in a big way. Portraits of Pakistan cricket players were removed from Punjab Cricket Association and Rajasthan Cricket Association while Imran Khan’s photo is apparently on the verge of being removed from the Cricket Club of India (CCI). Speaking about the situation, Indian Premier League (IPL) chairman Rajeev Shukla has said the actions are justified. “Whatever is happening, Imran Khan’s portrait being removed or MFN status revoked is people’s outrage and the reaction is justified. I’ve always said the sport is above politics but now it will hamper sporting ties too, not until Pakistan sponsored terrorism is stopped,” Shukla told Times Now in an interview.
With cricketing tensions at an all-time low, there are calls for India to boycott their game against Pakistan in the ICC Cricket World Cup which will be played in Manchester on June 16. When asked about such a move, Shukla said, “Cannot say now whether we will play Pakistan in the World Cup as it’s too far but our policy and position is very clear, we will wait for the government's decision,” Shukla said.
The Cricket Club of India (CCI) has covered the photo of Imran Khan, who is the former skipper and current Prime Minister of Pakistan while the photo of several Pakistan players has been removed from the Punjab Cricket Association and Rajasthan Cricket Association. Speaking about the incident, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has expressed ‘regret’ and said it will take up the issue with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in an International Cricket Council (ICC) meeting which will be later in the month.
Apart from cricket associations, the coverage of the Pakistan Super League in India has also been affected. IMG Reliance has pulled out of covering the PSL games while D Sports has also suspended the coverage of the PSL games on Television in India. Apart from TV, digital platforms have also taken a stand with Cricbuzz, a popular digital platform not covering the games on their website.