Virat Kohli, the Indian cricket team skipper, has spoken for the first time about the current situation involving the India vs Pakistan ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 clash which is under a cloud following the Pulwama terror attack which killed 40 CRPF jawans. Speaking in the pre-match press conference ahead of the first Twenty20 International against Australia in Vizag, Kohli said the team will adhere to the decision the Board of Control for Cricket in India and the Government takes. "Our sincere condolences to the families of CRPF soldiers who lost their lives in Pulwama Attack. We stand by what the nation wants to do and what the BCCI decides to do. We will go by what the govt and the Board decides, we will respect that," Kohli stated.
The fate of the much-anticipated World Cup match to be held on June 16 at the Old Trafford lies in limbo after several former Indian cricketers called for its boycott in the aftermath of the ghastly terror attack that killed more than 40 CRPF personnel. The call to boycott the match has come from some prominent names in Indian cricket such as senior off-spinner Harbhajan Singh and former captain Mohammed Azharuddin. But offering a different view, batting great Sunil Gavaskar and Sachin Tendulkar have stated that India should not hand over points to Pakistan by boycotting the game. They, however, advocated continued shunning of bilateral cricket ties.
The Committee of Administrators (CoA) running Indian cricket also decided against taking any stand on the World Cup clash against Pakistan, but urged the ICC and other nations to "sever ties" with countries from where "terrorism emanates".
India legends Sachin Tendulkar and Sunil Gavaskar want the India vs Pakistan clash to happen. On the other hand, Harbhajan Singh, Saurav Ganguly, and Mohammad Azharuddin are against the idea of the game. Tendulkar further went onto back his statement and said, 'We should play Pakistan and defeat them on the field'. However, the final statement will be taken by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) tomorrow and this remains to be seen whether BCCI goes ahead with the former idea or latter.
Earlier, as per the reports by NDTV, boycotting Pakistan clash in World Cup can draw a furious reaction from ICC and BCCI could be handed a ban by the international body.
#WATCH Virat Kohli on Ind Vs Pak in World Cup says, "Our sincere condolences to the families of CRPF soldiers who lost their lives in #PulwamaAttack. We stand by what the nation wants to do and what the BCCI decides to do." pic.twitter.com/gjyJ9qDxts— ANI (@ANI) February 23, 2019
The likes of Harbhajan Singh, Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, and others have expressed their views and believe that India shouldn’t play against Pakistan. Meanwhile, as per the schedule, India is set to play against Pakistan on June 16 at Old Trafford in Manchester and the much-awaited encounter is unarguably the biggest World Cup tie at the showpiece event with over 4,00,000 applications for the game, while the stadium can only accommodate 25,000 people.
India last played against Pakistan in Asia Cup which held last year in Dubai. In the two games played against Sarfaraz-led Pakistan team, India clinched both encounters convincingly.