India vs Pakistan: BCCI to decide on World Cup clash today
In the wake of the Pulwama attack which saw 40 CRPF officials being killed by a suicide bomber, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is set to take a call on how to approach the India-Pakistan World Cup match that is to be played in Manchester on June 16. While fans and some former cricketers like Sourav Ganguly have called for India to cut all sporting ties with Pakistan, others like former India skipper Sunil Gavaskar wants Virat Kohli and boys to beat Pakistan in the game and pay tribute to the soldiers.
Speaking to Hindustan Times, Committee of Administrators (CoA) member Diana Edulji confirmed that a call on the same would be taken in the Capital on Friday. “Yes, we are meeting and we will decide on the course of action,” she said.
Interestingly, India spinner Yuzvendra Chahal has made it clear that a strong statement must be passed. He said: “It’s not in our hands, if BCCI says, we will play if they say no then we won’t. I think it is high time, we need to take firm action. I am not saying all people there(Pakistan) are at fault but those who are responsible should be acted against.”
Ganguly too had spoken about cutting all sporting ties on a news channel and said: “This is a 10-team World Cup and each team plays matches against every other team and I feel if India doesn’t play a match in the World Cup, it won’t be an issue. I feel it will be really difficult for ICC to go on with a World Cup without India. But, you also have to see if India has the power to stop ICC from doing such a thing. But, personally I feel a strong message should be sent.
But Gavaskar said: “Who wins if India decides against playing Pakistan in the World Cup? And I am not even talking about the semis and the finals. Who wins? Pakistan win because they get two points. India have so far beaten Pakistan every time in a World Cup, so we are actually conceding two points when by beating Pakistan, we could make sure that they don’t advance in the competition.”
The former skipper though said that if the country is against the idea, he too stands with them. “(But) I am with the country, whatever the government decides, I am with it totally. If the country wants we shouldn’t play Pakistan, I am with them,” he told a news channel.
Earlier, ICC CEO Dave Richardson said that the governing body has no reasons to make any changes to the proposed World Cup schedule and that all matches will be played as planned.
“We haven’t written to the boards as yet,” Richardson said while marking the 100-day countdown to the tournament. “Our thoughts are with the people that were impacted by the incident. And we are monitoring the situation with our members including the BCCI and PCB. Certainly, there are no indications any of the matches, including the Pakistan-India match, will not be played as planned at the World Cup. But as I say we will continue to monitor the situation.”