India v Pak Series in Jeopardy After Terror Attacks: BCCI Secretary to NDTV
Anurag Thakur, the BCCI secretary, has condemned the terror attacks in Gurdaspur and has said that the event puts the India-Pakistan cricket series in jeopardy
In the wake of the Gurdaspur terror attacks on Monday, Anurag Thakur, the BCCI secretary told NDTV, "Cricket and terror cannot go hand in hand." Thakur, a BJP MP, was reacting to India's scheduled series against Pakistan in December this year.
Thakur said, "Internal security of the country can't be compromised", even though sport was a different issue. (Sethi Still Optimistic About India-Pakistan Series)
Asked specifically if India and Pakistan can resume cricket ties, Thakur talked tough and said it was not a possibility now.
"Earlier also there was no such decision that the series will take place. Only the PCB has reached out to the BCCI. We were talking on those lines but when you see such attack on India time and again, the Jammu region, now the Punjab, where Indians are losing their lives, as an Indian I don't see a possibility to that," Thakur said.
On Monday morning, a group of terrorists struck in Gurdaspur in Punjab near the Pakistan border. The terrorists, holed up in an empty police station, exchanged fire with security forces. The terror attack, which began at 5:30 this morning, lasted 11 hours and left eight people dead. A senior police officer Baljit Singh was shot dead as the terrorists stormed into the police station and turned it into their hideout for the day.
The attacks are certain to raise tensions with Pakistan if it is proven to have originated across the border. The gunmen shot dead a barber and tried to hijack a bus before rushing the police station, witnesses said.
The Hamirpur MP condemned the terror attack in Gurdaspur,Â "I condemn the terrorist attacks, specially in the Gurdaspur region. If you talk about cricket with Pakistan, we must understand that life of every Indian is very important to us. As I see my responsibility as BCCI secretary, as a Parliamentarian, life of every Indian is very important to me. It's not only about cricket, it's about my country." Thakur made it clear that unless the situation improves, the two Asian neighbours won't play cricket."
"I think, before we step onto the cricket field, it's important to clear the issues between the two Boards and the two counties. If we don't clear those issues, it would not be possible to enter that territory," he said.
Pakistan was supposed to host India in December 2015 as part of the six series MoU which is applicable until 2022 under the new Future Tours Program system of the ICC. The series was to involve three Tests, five ODIs and two T20s. (India May Host Pakistan at Home, Says BCCI Secretary Anurag Thakur)
PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan himself has twice visited India in recent times and met with BCCI and key government officials in a bid to convince the governments to clear the series.
However, after the terror attacks today, the fate of the series is in jeopardy. (BCCI Hopeful of Resuming Bilateral Cricket)
Pakistan Test captain, Misbah-ul-Haq too was looking forward to the series, "I want to play a few more Test matches as I look forward to life beyond cricket. But there is a plan. If the series against India happens, I want to play that series and probably retire from international cricket."
India, previously, have cancelled bilateral cricket series with their neighbour after militants killed 166 people in Mumbai in 2008 but hosted Pakistan in 2012-13 for a short limited-overs series.
(With inputs from Rica Roy and PTI)