India Ready To Not Play Pakistan In World Cup: Sources To NDTV
India's big move is aimed at putting financial pressure on the ICC and as a result on Pakistan and corporates, sources told NDTV.
India is ready not to play Pakistan in the World Cup 2019, sources have told NDTV. According to them, the government's message to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Committee of Administrators is 'don't play Pakistan'. This is a big move to put pressure on Pakistan, the sources said and India is ready to go to the extent of not playing Pakistan even in the knockout stages of the World Cup. There were also options of asking the International Cricket Council (ICC) to see if the format of the tournament could be changed so that India and Pakistan don't face off, at least till the knockout stages. The move would lead to huge financial pressure on ICC and the sponsors, which in turn would result into embarrassment and pressure on Pakistan. BCCI and CoA are expected to communicate India's position to play Pakistan to the ICC.
Meanwhile, BCCI sources say that legal options for not playing Pakistan are being placed before the CoA and the legal team is discussing the same with the committee.
The subject of playing Pakistan in the ICC World Cup 2019 is the top agenda when the Supreme Court appointed BCCI Committee of Administrators (CoA) meets on Friday as calls for boycotting the neighbour in the marquee tournament in the UK have come from all quarters.
At the same time, some sources categorically dismissed all possibilities of any bilateral series.
"(There is) no question of bilateral cricket with Pakistan," they said. "In the present circumstances, very difficult to play even in international tournaments against Pakistan.
"But there is still a lot of time in the World Cup," they however added.
Many former and present cricketers, including Sourav Ganguly, Chetan Chauhan and Harbhajan Singh have unequivocally denounced the Pakistan-backed Pulwama terror attack that killed 40 CRPF troopers on February 14 but said that pulling out of the clash against the green brigade will only result in India losing out vital points.
According to reports, the CoA had on Wednesday directed the BCCI CEO Rahul Johri to write a letter to the ICC to ban Sarfraz Ahmed's men from the World Cup, a ploy which could backfire as the other participants may not support India's call.
While Friday's meeting between CoA members Vinod Rai and Diana Edulji was earlier projected as a routine one to discuss the issue of multiple bodies claiming to be representatives of Uttarakhand, but going by public sentiments the subject of playing Pakistan will cast a shadow on the other topics.
The BCCI is also expected to take up the matter at the upcoming ICC meeting from February 27-March 2.
(With Inputs from Akhilesh Sharma and IANS)