India should be ready to forfeit Pak clash at World Cup: Gautam Gambhir

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Updated: Mar 18, 2019 8:26 PM

Former Indian cricketer Gautam Gambhir (PTI File Photo)

Former ace cricketer Gautam Gambhir does not want India to play Pakistan in the ICC World Cup 2019. His statement once again has revived the debate that sparked off after Pulwama terror attack in which 40 CRPF personnel lost their lives. The terror strike was perpetrated by Pakistan-backed Jaish-e-Mohammed.

Speaking on the issue, Gambhir told ANI: “It’s up to the BCCI to decide. Personally, there’s nothing wrong in forfeiting the game as well, two points aren’t that important. For me, jawans are more important than any cricket game. Country comes first.”

He further said that even if India has to play Pakistan in the World Cup final, if you let go of the final, I think the country should be ready for it. “There should not be any backlash from certain sections of society who start saying that you can’t compare sports and politics.

Insisting on taking a tough stand against Pakistan, the former Indian opener called for snapping ties with Pakistan after the Pulwama terror attack. He also said the BCCI has to decide and be prepared for the consequences.

Speaking at an event in New Delhi, Gambhir said, “There can’t be conditional bans. Either you ban everything with Pakistan or open everything with Pakistan. What has happened in Pulwama is absolutely not acceptable.”

India and Pakistan clashed for the last time in a bilateral series when the latter visited India in 2012-2013. The two arch-rivals have clashed in the Asia Cup and the ICC tournaments like Champions Trophy, the World T20 and the World Cup.

To buttress his point, Gambhir also cited England’s case when the English team forfeited their 2003 World Cup match against Zimbabwe in protest of the Robert Mugabe regime.

“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,” he said.

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