Team India should have refused to play against Pakistan in the ICC Champions Trophy, which would have earned our cricketers accolades from the people of the country, the Shiv Sena said on Tuesday. The saffron outfit’s comment came two days after arch-rivals Pakistan defeated the Indian cricket team by 180 runs to lift the coveted trophy in London.
The Sena said those mourning India’s loss in the final of the ICC event should instead have celebrated the hockey team’s victory over Pakistan on the same day. “Our so-called nationalists condemned our cricketers, burnt their effigies and broke their TV sets because our team lost to Pakistan.
“All this seems laughable now. Why did these nationalists not come out on the streets to congratulate our hockey team which decimated Pakistan on the same day?” the Sena wondered in an editorial in its mouthpiece, ‘Saamana’.
The Marathi daily said the Indian cricket team should have blatantly refused to play against Pakistan. “It would have won our team accolades from the nation. But they didn’t do so. They did not sacrifice for the nation,” it added.
Indian cricket fans do not display extreme emotions when their team loses to any other country. This happens only in case of Pakistan and this shows that the people consider the neighbouring country as an “enemy”, it said.
The Uddhav Thackeray-led party advocated snapping of all ties with Islamabad. “Those who feel Pakistan should be defeated on the cricket field, we have nothing to say to them. Because, we believe that keeping any kind of relation with Pakistan is an insult to the thousands of jawans who have been martyred in Kashmir. We have to come out of the notion that playing cricket will improve relations with them,” it said.
“Instead of breaking their TV sets (after the loss in the final), the nationalists should have desisted from watching the (Indo-Pak) match. Then they could have been called true nationalists. If 125 crore Indians had boycotted the match, it would have been a tribute to all our martyrs,” the Sena said.