Pakistan’s World Cup 2019 clash with India is not under threat and is expected to go ahead as planned, according to the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) General Manager Strategic Communications, Claire Furlong.
The blockbuster June 16 fixture between the two neighbours had faced uncertainty in the aftermath of last week’s Pulwama incident as reports emerged that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) may try and get Pakistan banned from the tournament or refuse to play that specific fixture.
When it appeared that there was no constitutional or contractual way for Pakistan to be kept away from the summer tournament, the Indian board on Friday wrote to the ICC, urging “the cricket community to sever ties with countries from which terrorism emanates” — a move that did not faze the PCB.
Senior cricket figures such as former India captain Sourav Ganguly and spin star Harbhajan Singh have called for the country to boycott the game.
But Sunil Gavaskar and Sachin Tendulkar said a boycott would be like a defeat to Pakistan.
“India has always come up trumps against Pakistan in the World Cup. Time to beat them once again. Would personally hate to give them two points and help them in the tournament,” Tendulkar said on Twitter.
“Who wins if India decide against playing Pakistan in the World Cup? And I am not even talking about the semis and the finals. Who wins? Pakistan win because they get two points,” Gavaskar told India Today.
Interest in the India-Pakistan game in Manchester is so high that demand for tickets has outstripped that for the World Cup final, according to ICC officials.
Virat Kohli breaks his silence on Pakistan-India clash
Amidst speculation from various quarters regarding the match, Indian skipper Virat Kohli on Saturday said that the Indian cricket team will stand by what the Indian government and Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) decide.
Addressing a presser conference on the eve of India s first T20I against Australia, Virat Kohli spoke on the matter in response to a question regarding the team s stance on the situation.
“Our sincere condolences to the families of CRPF soldiers who lost their lives in PulwamaAttack. We stand by what the nation wants to do and what the BCCI decides to do. We will go by what the govt and the Board decide, we will respect that,” Virat told the reporters.
The ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 is slated to be played from May 30 to July 14, while India and Pakistan are scheduled to face each other on June 16 in Manchester.