Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry has asked the International Cricket Council (ICC) to take action against the Indian cricket team for "politicising" the game by donning camouflage army caps during their third One-Day International (ODI) match against Australia on Friday.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had announced earlier today that the Indian team will be wearing the caps during the match "as [a] mark of tribute to the loss of lives in Pulwama terror attack and the armed forces".
“It’s just not Cricket,” Chaudhry tweeted in the evening, adding that by wearing the caps, the Indian team had politicised the Gentleman's Game. India were beaten in the match by 32 runs, with opener Usman Khawaja's maiden ODI century and incisive bowling helping Australia.
The minister urged the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to lodge a formal protest against India with the sport's world governing body.
Analyse: That’s not cricket
And if the Indian team does not stop wearing the caps, the Pakistan team "should [also] wear black bands to remind The World about Indian atrocities in [occupied] Kashmir", Chaudhry wrote.
Many in Pakistan, including journalist Owais Tohid, echoed similar views.
"Sad to see war hysteria in Indian cricket team with great players like @imVkohli & @msdhoni leading it," Tohid said in a tweet.
He pointed out that millions of young players in the sub-continent idealise Indian cricket stars such as Virat Kohli and Mahendra Singh Dhoni. "Heroes shouldn’t act like losers," he added.
Mazhar Abbas, another senior journalist, termed the decision to wear the camouflage caps the "militarisation of Indian cricket".
"Sports can defuse tension but not like this. Don't [drag] cricketers in[to] politics."
The development comes as Pakistan and India reel from two weeks of high tension which had raised fears of an all-out war. The situation de-escalated after Pakistan released an Indian pilot who was captured after his plane was shot down for violating Pakistani airspace.