File image of Virat Kohli, Sarfaraz Ahmed(Action Images via Reuters)
File image of Virat Kohli, Sarfaraz Ahmed(Action Images via Reuters)

Future of India vs Pakistan cricket matches - CoA chief Vinod Rai reveals government policy

The India vs Pakistan match at the 2019 World Cup generated a lot of interest owing to the political tensions between the two nations.
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By HT Correspondent
UPDATED ON SEP 24, 2019 12:21 PM IST

Ahead of the 2019 World Cup, the BCCI had written to the International Cricket Council in which they had asked the global body to isolate Pakistan at a world stage. There were clarion calls back home in India to boycott their match against Pakistan even if it meant giving up on the 2 points on offer. Now that the dust has settled, CoA chief Vinod Rai has opened up on the entire episode. He concedes that BCCI had to react to the common sentiment and take a stand.

“Now, India was slated to play Pakistan on June 16… There was a rhetoric built up over here that India should refuse to play with Pakistan. People were saying it, the media was reporting it. The media was not cooking it up. The media reports, picks up news from the ground,” Rai told Indian Express.

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So why prompted BCCI to write a letter to the ICC and ask them to isolate Pakistan?

“If we don’t play Pakistan (in the World Cup), we lose one point, two points, and that doesn’t matter. But suppose Pakistan comes up in the semi-final and we withdraw. Isn’t that shooting yourself in the foot? We would be closing avenues for ourselves. Which, I thought, was an incorrect move. So I said, rather than shooting ourselves in the foot, let’s isolate them,” he further added.

Rai also spoke about the India-Pakistan cricketing relations and said that as per the government policy, they cannot play on each other’s territory, but a match can be played if they are playing at a neutral venue.

“On playing Pakistan, I think there is a government policy…that you can play on neutral territory, and not on each other’s… We are very clear in our minds that on neutral territory we will play any country.” Rai informed.

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