Pulwama terror attack: No decision on ICC World Cup match with Pakistan

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Updated: February 23, 2019 7:12:52 AM

The Committee of Administrators (CoA) running Indian cricket on Friday 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”.

Pulwama terror attack aftermath: No decision on ICC World Cup match with PakistanPulwama terror attack aftermath: No decision on ICC World Cup match with Pakistan

Even as India’s chances of hosting a global event under the aegis of International Olympic Committee (IOC) seems to be in jeopardy after it denied visa to Pakistani shooters participating in Delhi World Cup, the country’s cricket administration is mulling severing ties with Pakistan by boycotting the match between the two countries scheduled for June 16 as part of the World Cup in England.

The calls to boycott Pakistan, with which India hasn’t engaged in bilateral matches since Mumbai terror attacks in 2008, have been gaining currency in the aftermath of the Pulwama terror attack, which killed more than 40 CRPF personnel. However, these countries have played against each other during multilateral tournaments after 2008.

The Committee of Administrators (CoA) running Indian cricket on Friday 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”.

In a meeting to address the spiralling speculation around the match, the CoA deliberated on the matter but did not take any position for now and will not mention the tie in the planned e-mail to the world body.

“The 16th of June is very far away. We will take a call on that much later and in consultation with the government,” CoA chief Vinod Rai said after the meeting. Asked if players have been consulted on the issue, Rai replied in the negative.

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“In an e-mail to the ICC, we have expressed our concerns about the terrorist attack that has taken place. We are telling them that security of players and match officials should be appropriately taken care of,” Rai said.

He added that while India should not play matches with countries that promote terrorism, the concerns would be expressed at cricket’s international governing body’s (ICC) quarterly meet in Dubai.

However, India has limited leverage in getting ICC to ban Pakistan from the World Cup. “We can never win a floor test if we try and pass a resolution to ban Pakistan from the World Cup. We currently don’t have majority in ICC. In fact, ICC chairman Shashank Manohar, in his individual capacity, has more votes than BCCI at the present moment,” a senior BCCI official told PTI.

Among prominent former India cricketers, Harbhajan Singh, Mohammad Azharuddin and Sourav Ganguly called for Pakistan’s boycott at the global tournament which takes place every four years.

“Please understand we still have three months time. We will abide by what government says. We can’t comment on hypothetical situations as we haven’t arrived at a decision,” Rai said. It is understood that BCCI officials are also concerned that such a stand might cost them the hosting rights of the 2021 Champions Trophy and the 2023 World Cup.

Separately, the International Olympic Committee has suspended all discussions with the country on hosting global sporting event, and recommending that no big tournament be awarded to it.

India denied visas to Pakistani shooters for the World Cup that starts on Saturday in the wake of the Pulwama terror attack.

As a result, the IOC revoked the two Olympic quotas on offer in the men’s 25m Rapid Fire Pistol competition of the event. The IOC also said that it would not engage with India on discussions to host major events. India aspires to host the 2026 Youth Olympics, the 2032 Summer Olympics and the 2030 Asian Games.

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