Shashi Tharoor says not playing Pakistan in World Cup worse than surrender

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New Delhi | Updated: February 22, 2019 1:02:31 PM

World Cup 2019: Tharoor also sought to remind that India had played Pakistan at the height of the Kargil war in 1999, and that forfeiting the match would be an action worse than surrender.

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Amid the growing clamour for breaking all ties, including cricket with Pakistan following the Pulwama attack, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor slammed the Bharatiya Janata Party-led central government BJP for its tokenism. In a scathing tweet, Tharoor said that cancelling a cricket match with Pakistan three months from now was not a serious response to the cold-blooded killing of the 40 CRPF martyrs.

“Our government did not even declare national mourning wants to cancel a match 3 months from now? Is that a serious response to 40 lives taken in cold blood? BJP wants 2 divert attn from its own fecklessness & inept handling of the crisis.We need effective action, not gesture politics (sic)”

Tharoor also sought to remind that India had played Pakistan at the height of the Kargil war in 1999, and that forfeiting the match would be an action worse than surrender. “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,” Tharoor said.

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The remark comes at a time when the BCCI’s Committee of Administrators meet to decide on writing to the ICC to ban Pakistan from the upcoming World Cup.

Although the talks may take place on the issue, the BCCI may still leave the decision to the government like it usually does. In earlier instances too, India’s premier cricketing body has written to Ministry of External Affairs on the issues involving playing the neighbouring country and always has been known to toe the government line.

Post the Pulwama terror attack that left 40 CRPF jawans martyred, the voices for the country to boycott the June 16 World Cup group stage match against Pakistan at Old Trafford have grown louder.

Former cricketers including Sourav Ganguly Harbhajan Singh and Mohammad Azharuddin have appealed that the country is bigger than the sport. However, veteran cricketer Sunil Gavaskar has said that it is India’s loss if they do not play Pakistan in ICC World Cup 2019.

Adding that the government and BCCI should be taking the call on the issue, Indian cricketer Yuzvendra Chahal, however, said that it was high time high time India takes “strong action against the perpetrators of terrorism.”

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