India, Pakistan, World Cup, Sunil Gavaskar
Sunil Gavaskar says boycotting Pakistan will not serve a purpose. Image Courtesy: Getty

Sunil Gavaskar, the former India captain, said instead of boycotting Pakistan at the 2019 World Cup, India can play and beat them to ensure they don’t advance to the semis of the mega event. In the wake of the Pulwama attack, which took place on February 14th – where more than 40 CRPF jawans got martyred; many of the former players, politicians, have asked the BCCI not to play Pakistan at the World Cup. Though the ICC meeting is due to take place on February 27th in Dubai, the board is yet to make a final call on the future of India-Pakistan match on June 16th in Manchester.

Not playing bilateral series against Pak hurts them more – Gavaskar

Both the arch-rivals hadn’t faced-off since 2012/13 in a bilateral series when Pakistan last visited India. As there is an uprising tension on the borders, the Indian government never gives the nod despite BCCI signing the MoU a few years back with the PCB. Though Pakistan complained to the ICC regarding the same, the governing body favoured India in their outcome.

India, Pakistan, World Cup, Sunil Gavaskar
Sunil Gavaskar is of the opinion India should face Pakistan and beat them instead of boycotting them at the World Cup. Image Courtesy: Getty

Speaking to India Today, Sunil Gavaskar said India not playing Pakistan hurts them more, and they shall continue doing it. Also, he pressed on the fact that if India forfeits the match against their neighbours in the UK, who would benefit? – Only Pakistan, as they will gain points. The legendary figure in the Indian cricket added India had won all of their previous encounters and they should aim for better this time around too.

“If India decide not to play Pakistan in the World Cup, who wins? Pakistan will get two points. We have beaten them every time in World Cups. We can play them and beat them and make sure they don’t reach the semi-finals. Not playing bilateral series vs Pakistan hurts them.

“I know India are strong enough to qualify by not playing Pakistan. Not playing bilaterally hurts them. But it’s a World Cup, it’s two points…,” Gavaskar said.

CoA pressurises BCCI to ask ICC to ban Pakistan from the WC

As per reports, the CoA had put pressure on the BCCI to write to the ICC to ban Pakistan from playing the 2019 World Cup. Sunil Gavaskar had a thought to share on this; he said,

“It will not happen because the other countries have to agree. India can certainly go ahead but that is not likely to happen.

“The right forum is at the United Nations. I am not too sure the International Cricket Conference is the right forum to bring this up. We are all down with the tragedy. I am not too sure it will work because the other countries might say it’s an internal issue between two countries so please don’t involve us,” Gavaskar added.

Meanwhile, the CCI had also covered Imran Khan’s portrait in their protest towards the Pulwama attack. Not only them but also the Rajasthan Cricket Association removed the photos of Pakistan cricketers from the photo gallery of Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur.

Gautam Sodhi

I am more than just a cricket lover. I have been breathing this game since I was three, and now I am making a living out of it. Also, FC Barcelona happens to be my second love, and evidently, I prefer Lionel Messi over Ronaldo.