Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 June 2019

Sachin Tendulkar does not want India to boycott facing Pakistan at World Cup

Tensions have increased following suicide-bomber attack in Kashmir that killed 40 Indian paramilitary troops for which Pakistan-based militants claimed responsibility

Sachin Tendulkar, in action against Pakistan, does not want India to boycott playing Pakistan at the World Cup. AFP
Sachin Tendulkar, in action against Pakistan, does not want India to boycott playing Pakistan at the World Cup. AFP

The Indian cricket board (BCCI) has written to the game's 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 disputed Kashmir. The attack, the worst ever in the troubled area, was claimed by Pakistan-based militants.

It 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 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 copy of the mail sent to the International Cricket Council (ICC).

"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.

"BCCI urges the cricketing community to sever ties with countries from which terrorism emanates."

The Pakistan Cricket Board and Pakistan government were not immediately reachable for comment.

India has accused its neighbour of not doing enough to control the militant groups responsible for the Kashmir attacks. Pakistan has denied any involvement.

Earlier on Friday, the International Olympic Committee suspended all Indian applications to host future events and urged international sports federations not to stage competitions in the country after two Pakistanis were denied visas to compete in New Delhi.

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.

"I would personally hate to give them two points and help them in the tournament.

"Having said that, for me India always comes first, so whatever my country decides, I will back that decision with all my heart," he added.

This year's Indian Premier League Twenty20 competition, which gets underway on March 23, will feature no opening ceremony, Rai said.

The money earmarked for it would be donated to the families of those killed in the Kashmir attack, he added.

Updated: February 22, 2019 06:19 PM

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