The India vs Pakistan ICC Cricket World Cup clash on June 16 in Manchester is under a cloud following the Pulwama terror attack. (Image credit: Twitter)
The Pulwama terror attack fall-out continues to dominate headlines in both India and Pakistan. The target this time is cricket and with the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 less than 100 days away, there are mounting calls from many Indian quarters to boycott the clash against Pakistan which will take place on June 16 in Manchester. The ramifications of a boycott will be hard on India, the ICC and the World Cup in general but the country is angry following the attack which killed 40 CRPF jawans. There has been considerable amount of talk from both sides regarding the India vs Pakistan situation in the aftermath of the Pulwama Terror attack. Here is a compilation of what India and Pakistan cricket players have said about the chances of India boycotting the game against Pakistan.
Sachin Tendulkar: India has always come up trumps against Pakistan in the World Cup. Time to beat them once again. Would personally hate to give them two points and help them in the tournament. Having said that, for me India always comes first, so whatever my country decides, I will back that decision with all my heart.
Yuzvendra Chahal: It's not in our hands. If BCCI says, we will play. If they say no then we won't. If we don't take action, nothing will change. This is high time. We should take firm action. There are people in Pakistan who are not at fault but those who are behind the attack should be punished.
This should settle once and for all. We can't tolerate it any longer. Every three months we get to hear about our jawans losing their lives to terrorism and we can’t keep waiting for things to happen. It’s high time and we have to make things happen and we should settle this face to face, even if that means aar paar ki ladaai.
Harbhajan Singh: There is no need for any relations with Pakistan, let alone cricket. Don't play the World Cup match with Pakistan on June 16 -- country comes first for all of us and we are all standing with our forces. I don't care about losing points.
Sourav Ganguly: And, whatever reactions came from the people of India...was right. There is no chance of a bilateral series with Pakistan after this incident. I agree that after this attack, India should not only stop playing cricket, hockey or football with Pakistan but should cut all ties with them.
Mohammad Azharuddin: If we are not playing Pakistan in bilateral series, we should not play them anywhere. I agree with Harbhajan, the World Cup cannot be bigger than the country.
Shoaib Akhtar: Should sports stay political? Not at all. So these differences set in matters of circumstances. We strongly condemn the loss of lives. But when it comes to our country, we are one nation, united and we will stand by our Prime Minister's statement without having a second thought. They have a right to pull out. Their country was attacked and hence the decision. You cannot argue on that?"
Virender Sehwag on Twitter: Really pained by the cowardly attack on our CRPF in J&K in which our brave men have been martyred . No words are enough to describe the pain. I wish a speedy recovery to those injured. #SudharJaaoWarnaSudhaarDenge
Shahid Afridi: Without any proof, they are putting all the blame onto Pakistan straight away. PM Imran Khan has once again spoken on this matter in a positive & clear way to explain that Pakistan wants to have good relations with not only India, but also Afghanistan, Iran and China.
Gautam Gambhir on Twitter: Indian Army ne yeh jang bhi shuru nahi ki (did not start even this war) but they will finish it and I am with them emotion-to-emotion, shoulder-to-shoulder. We the civilians will decide what ‘F’ stands for.
Mayank Agarwal: I am not allowed to answer any of that. You have to ask our management. I have my stand, but there are rules and regulations we have to folow. I cannot give an interview or speak about it on my own......After that meeting (CoA meeting) is done, once we get clearance, only then we can discuss.
Sunil Gavaskar: 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 wins because they get two points.
Sarfaraz Ahmed: The India and Pakistan match should be played as per schedule as there are millions of people who want to watch this game. I just don't think cricket should be targeted for political gains. It is disappointing to see cricket being targeted after the Pulwama incident. I don't recall Pakistan ever mixing sports with politics.