NEW DELHI: The Indian cricket board has written to the game’s world governing body urging the cricket community to sever ties with any nation from where “terrorism emanates”, its chief administrator said on Friday.
The move follows a suicide-bomber attack last week that killed 40 Indian paramilitary troops in Pulwama district of the disputed territory of Kashmir. The attack was the worst-ever in the troubled area. The incident has further soured relations between the bitter nuclear-armed rivals, prompting calls within India for the country to sever all sporting ties with Pakistan.
“We are writing to ICC expressing our concerns about the [Pulwama] attack that has taken place,” Vinod Rai, the chairman of the Committee of Administrators (CoA) that is running Indian cricket, told reporters in New Delhi.
“We will place our concerns against Pakistan in ICC forums,” he said, before sharing a copy of the mail sent to the International Cricket Council.
“Most countries from which the members of the ICC hail [including the United Kingdom] have strongly condemned this terrorist attack and expressed solidarity with India,” BCCI chief executive Rahul Johri wrote in the email.
“The BCCI urges the cricketing community to sever ties with countries from which terrorism emanates.”
The neighbours, who have not hosted a cricket series between the countries since 2013 due to political tensions, are set to clash in one of the most anticipated matches of the May 30-July 14 World Cup in England and Wales.
Angry Indian fans have demanded their team boycott the June 16 match, while former players are polarised on the issue.
When asked whether India would play the match in Manchester, Rai said: “16th June is far away. We’ll take a call on that later, and in consultation with the government.”
Batting great Sachin Tendulkar said he would rather like India to play and stretch their unbeaten World Cup record against Pakistan than forfeit the match.
“India has always come up trumps against Pakistan in the World Cup. Time to beat them once again,” Tendulkar said in a statement.
Meanwhile, India demanded “robust” security for its players and fans at this year’s ICC World Cup.
“The BCCI trusts... the most robust security is provided to players, match officials and fans of Indian cricket for the upcoming World Cup,” the letter written by the BCCI to the ICC said.
Published in Dawn, February 23rd, 2019