Govt to decide the fate of Indo-Pak face off in ICC World Cup 2019

Ex BCCI secretary says no to cricketing ties with Pak | Credits: AP

The ongoing war between India and Pakistan on the border has transpired into cricket.

The Board of Cricket Council of India has effectively left the decision of whether they will be playing against Pakistan in the ICC World Cup 2019 on May 16 in Manchester or not.

In a recent update by BBC, The International Cricket Council said that there is “no indication” the World Cup match between India and Pakistan in Manchester will not go ahead.

Though the bilateral cricketing ties have been suspended between the two countries since long, they have been playing each other in the ICC tournaments. The current atmosphere in India, after the Pulwama attack in which 40 CRPF jawans were massacred in the most gruesome manner, indicates that the match between India and Pakistan in the ICC World Cup should be suspended.

“How can you expect India to play Pakistan at the time we have lost so many of our brothers in these cowardly terrorist attack. I am of the firm view that India should not play Pakistan in the coming World Cup,” former BCCI secretary Patel was quoted as saying by The Indian Express.

Former cricketers and experts have clearly mentioned their priorities by emphasizing that the country is above the sport and if the BCCI says yes to this match it’ll state that the sport is above the nation.

Meanwhile, India Today has learnt the International Cricket Council (ICC) has hinted that the BCCI is likely to lose the proposal of throwing Pakistan out of the showpiece event starting May 30. BCCI is also likely to consult Team India and then decide on whether to play against Pakistan or not in the ICC World Cup in May-June. The Indian cricket board officials and the Committee of Administrators decided to wait and have a word with captain Virat Kohli, coach Ravi Shastri and MS Dhoni before coming out with a concrete solution, according to sources.

Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed claimed responsibility for the ghastly attack in which a bus filled with the paramilitary troops was blown up on February 14. The board would be staring at a huge financial loss and even a hefty fine from the ICC if they indeed decide to forfeit the June 16 group match against Pakistan in the World Cup.

Meanwhile, there was an outrage on social media regarding the same. Former cricketers and even politicians had a say on this topic.

Kapil Dev was quoted by ANI as saying: “To play or not to play is something which does not have to be decided by people like us. It has to be decided by government. It’s better if we don’t give an opinion and leave it to government and concerned people. What they decide will be in interest of the nation. We’ll do what they want.”

He broke his silence and further mentioned that India should play the match but the final decision would definitely be of that of the government.

Sachin Tendulkar said that he would “hate” to see India give away two points to Pakistan by forfeiting the match.

Former Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly has opined that it will be nearly impossible for the BCCI or Indian government to approach ICC and get Pakistan banned from the upcoming World Cup or international cricket.

“You can boycott a particular country in bilateral series but it won’t be easy do the same in World Cup or international cricket. I can’t say on whether India will be able to influence the ICC to ban Pakistan from World Cup as it’s a very difficult thing to do. You just saw how the International Olympic Committee reacted when India denied visas to Pakistani shooters (participating in the ISSF World Cup in Delhi). So, it’s not an easy task,” Ganguly said.

Shashi Tharoor in an earlier tweet said, “Reminder: at the height of the 1999 Kargil War, India played Pakistan in the cricket World Cup, & won. To forfeit the match this year would not just cost two points: it would be worse than surrender, since it would be defeat without a fight.”

The Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Advisers and the Board of Control for Cricket in India on Friday sent a letter to the International Cricket Council in which it urged the cricketing community “to sever ties with countries from which terrorism emanates.” The board also expressed concern over the safety and security of players, match officials and “fans of Indian cricket” at the upcoming World Cup to be held in England from May 30, 2019.

Indian Coach Ravi Shastri: “It’s entirely left to the BCCI and the government. They know exactly what is happening and they will take a call. We will go by what they decide. If the government says it’s that sensitive you do not need to play the World Cup, I will go by my government,” India cricket head coach Ravi Shastri said to Mirror Now.

In the 2003 edition, for example, England lost out on four World Cup points after being told that they would not be allowed to relocate the game from Harare to South Africa because of security concerns related to travel to Zimbabwe.

But cancellation of what is arguably the biggest and most-awaited match of the tournament would hugely hurt the cricket World Cup.

India has never lost a World Cup game to Pakistan. In 1999, at the height of a limited war between the two countries in Kargil, the two sides played a low-scoring game in Manchester and India won by 47 runs. On the day of the match, six Pakistani soldiers and three Indian officers were killed in Kargil.

What’s Captain Kohli’s biggest concern this World Cup? | Credits: Sportkeeda

Captain Virat Kohli has vowed to respect the decision of the Indian Government and the BCCI on this topic. But is it his biggest concern?

The team’s batting department is more or less settled. Though some spots have not been cemented, it looks like those should be decided in the ongoing series against Australia.This leaves only the bowling unit to be determined. While, There is no doubt that the likes of Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, and Bhuvneshwar Kumar will make it to the squad. It is also certain that the duo of Yuvzendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav will lead the spin department. But there is still trouble for Virat Kohli here.The team’s real concern is if any of them are out of form or get injured, who would be their replacement. Unfortunately, there is no definite answer visible to this question.

In another event showing the protest and angst against Pakistan, India denied visas for two shooters from Pakistan to compete in the country for a World Cup event happening in New Delhi. With affect to that, The International Olympic Committee has suspended applications from India to host future events.

Curated By Anushka Deepak