Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association president and The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary Anurag Thakur has said that cricket diplomacy could not be the only medium for improving relationship with Pakistan.
Thakur, who is also the Lok Sabha member from Hamirpur, was in town to participate at the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha launch of the ‘Panchkranti’ programme, told HT, “Cricket diplomacy cannot be only media for having a good relationship with Pakistan,” Thakur told HT.
“The ceasefire violation along the Line of Control (LOC) from Pakistan is continuing and is serious matter of concern,” he said, adding that he was in favour of talks and against any kind of terror attack.
“It is high time that we must send a strong message during the talks and through our army,” he said.
In the past, cricket has been used as a tool to improve their diplomatic ties and prime minister Narendra Modi is known to be keen on it.
Thakur preferred to be cautious when asked about the cricket diplomacy between the two countries in the past, to deescalate the tensions and used as tool to improve the relation between two countries.
“As far as cricket is concerned, it could a good tool to improve relationships, but it cannot be the only way. I am not against an India-Pakistan cricket series, but if Pakistan continues to promote terrorism and terrorist attacks in India, then the expectation of a game is not on. Let’s have an online poll whether people of India want to play cricket against Pakistan,” he said.
He also cautioned Pakistan against taking terror too far.
“My message to Pakistan players wanting a series is that their country must stop firing bullets on the border. If this happens, I will send a bat and ball from here,” Thakur added.