Expressing their solidarity with the nation and the Indian Army, out of favour cricketers Irfan Pathan and Parthiv Patel have come out in support of BCCI’s decision to not play cricket with Pakistan, saying it is not the right time to play cricket with the arch-rival.
“For me country comes first. We must support whatever the government decides in such situations,” Pathan said in the backdrop of Uri terror attack in which 19 Indian soldiers were martyred.
Echoing similar sentiments, wicket-keeper batsman Patel said, “BCCI president has clearly said that there is no question of cricket with Pakistan. So, we support it and also our government’s stand.”
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In the backdrop of the Uri terror attack, BCCI president Anurag Thakur had last month ruled out any cricketing ties with Pakistan, saying even considering such a thought is not appropriate.
“There are no tests or bilateral matches scheduled for this year with Pakistan and the question of playing against Pakistan today does not arise,” he had said.
“We have defeated Pakistan in three wars and all the world cup cricket matches. We can still maul Pakistan. But it is important to isolate it globally,” he reiterated.
Thakur’s statement was ridiculed by former Pakistan cricketers, who feel India have avoided playing cricket with Pakistan even when the ties between the countries were better.
Former Pakistan skipperMohammad Yousuf had urged the International Cricket Council (ICC) to take notice of Thakur ‘political’ statement, asking him to speak like a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader or as a cricket board head.
The relationship between the two estranged neighbours has plunged to a new low in recent times in the wake of Uri terror attack and the subsequent surgical strikes carried out by the Indian Army along the Line of Control (LoC).