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India should be ready to forfeit World Cup final if they play Pakistan: Gautam Gambhir

Gautam Gambhir Has Said India Should Be Ready To Boycott The World Cup Final And Also Be Prepared To Face Boycotts From International Sporting Federations In The Future.

News Nation Bureau | Edited By : Siddharth Vishwanathan | Updated on: 19 Mar 2019, 08:10:35 AM
Gautam Gambhir has reiterated that India should boycott the World Cup final if needed should they face Pakistan. (Image credit: Twitter)

highlights

  • India will take on Pakistan in the ICC Cricket World Cup clash on June 16.
  • The Pulwama terror attack killed 40 CRPF jawans.
  • England forfeited the 2003 World Cup clash against Zimbabwe.

New Delhi:

The India vs Pakistan ICC Cricket World Cup clash on June 16 in Manchester is under a cloud following the Pulwama terror attack which killed 40 CRPF jawans. Following the attack, there has been calls from Indian sporting personalities to boycott the World Cup encounter. Gautam Gambhir has been vocal about his stance that India should boycott the game against Pakistan in the World Cup and they should be mentally prepared to give up two points. The move by India could result in a backlash, with world sporting bodies proposing to boycott events in India in the near future. In an interaction recently, Gambhir said the nation comes first.

“All of us need to decide if sport is more important or lives of our soldiers? I am all for facing backlash if the international sporting federations decide to ostracise us. Sentiment of the country is far more important than sports, Bollywood, art or culture. If we get boycotted at sports events, we should be ready for it," Gambhir said.

The United World Wrestling (UWW) asked all the national federations under it to stop communication with the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) in the wake of visa denial of Pakistani shooters in the recent World Cup in New Delhi. The denial of visas to Pakistani shooters in the Delhi World Cup last month has jeopardised India's chances of hosting the Olympics or any global event with the IOC suspending all such discussions with the country and recommending that no big tournament be awarded to it.

Although India are facing Pakistan in the league stage, there is every possibility that the two sides can meet in the final of the World Cup as well. In the 2007 World T20 in South Africa, India defeated Pakistan by five runs while in the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 in England, Pakistan thrashed India by 180 runs to complete the set of ICC titles. When asked whether India will be ready to boycott Pakistan if they meet in the final, Gambhir was forthright.

“Two points are not that important. Country is important, those 40 soldiers who lost their lives are far more important than a cricket match. If we let go of a World Cup final, the country should be ready for it. Certain section of society says that don't mix sports with politics but Jawans are far more important than a game of cricket,” Gambhir said.

The left-hander, who played a key role in India’s triumphs in the 2007 World T20 and 2011 World Cup, has said even England boycotted the game against Zimbabwe in the 2003 World Cup in Harare in protest of the Robert Mugabe regime in the country. The forfeiture proved to be costly as England were eliminated in the first round of the tournament.

“England decided in 2003 and they wouldn't go to Zimbabwe, they forfeited. If BCCI decides not to play against Pakistan, everyone should be mentally ready to give those two points,” Gambhir said.

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First Published : 19 Mar 2019, 08:09:32 AM

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