The Pulwama terror attack which killed 40 CRPF jawans led to massive outrage among India’s sportsmen, with many calling for the Indian cricket team to boycott their game against Pakistan in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 encounter on June 16 in Manchester. Vinod Rai, the head of the Committee of Administrators that is currently running the BCCI, has urged the sporting community to ostracise Pakistan for the country’s support to terrorism. Rahul Johri, the CEO of the BCCI wrote a letter to the ICC regarding the India vs Pakistan clash which will be played in Manchester on June 16. Johri wrote a letter to Shashank Manohar, the ICC Independent Chairman, Dave Richardson, who is the outgoing ICC CEO, Colin Graves, the Managing Director of the England and Wales Cricket Board as well as ICC Cricket World Cup tournament director Steve Elworthy, mentioning that the BCCI is concerned for the safety of the players and the match officials in the match which has already seen about 400,000 ticket applications.
Amidst the calls for the boycott of the India vs Pakistan clash, the ICC has apparently turned down the BCCI proposal to ‘sever’ ties with nations that harbour terrorism. According to an ESPNCricinfo report, Manohar, who is the chairman of the ICC, stated that the organisation was not the appropriate forum to take such decisions and stated that the primary duty of the ICC was restricted to cricket matters only. The issue came up during Saturday's ICC board meeting chaired by chairman Manohar but not much time was spent on it. The BCCI was represented at the board by acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary and the report stated that Choudhury, the BCCI's acting secretary and its representative at the ICC Board, did not bring up the letter during the meetings.
The current tensions could also have a bearing on future ICC tournaments, with India slated to host the ICC Champions Trophy in 2021 and the 50-over World Cup in 2023. The issue of Pakistan players being issued a visa could become a huge concern. Recently, during the Shooting World Cup at the Karni Singh stadium in New Delhi, Pakistan’s shooters were denied a visa and this led to the International Olympic Council (IOC) suspending talks with India over hosting international events.
Dave Richardson, the outgoing ICC CEO had spoken about the ramifications in case a team forfeits the game. “There is justifiable non-compliance and unjustifiable. We will have to deal with that under the playing regulations,” Richardson said in an interview to ESPNCricinfo. Earlier, a BCCI source said no way India can ban Pakistan from the World Cup. “There is absolutely no constitutional or contractual way this could happen. The ICC constitution allows members the right to participate in ICC events as long as they're qualified,” a BCCI source said.