The Supreme Court appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) will meet on Friday to discuss the raging topic of whether India should play Pakistan in the World Cup. Besides, the committee is also expected to instruct the game’s stakeholders in the country, especially the active cricketers, to abstain from making extreme comments on the issue.
On eve of the meeting, media reports spoke about BCCI mulling over writing a letter to ICC asking the parent body to ban Pakistan from the upcoming World Cup. While a discussion on this unprecedented move is expected, the BCCI is expected stick to its good old stand of putting the ball in the government’s court. Historically, the BCCI has always written to Ministry of External Affairs on the issue of playing neighbouring country and toed the line.
Following the Pulwama attack where 40 CRPF jawans lost their lives, the call for India to boycott their World Cup group stage match against Pakistan at Old Trafford on June 16 had intensified. The argument to not play Pakistan has found support from some of the former cricketers, most noticeably Sourav Ganguly and Harbhajan Singh. “There is no chance of a bilateral series with Pakistan after this incident, I can also understand the sentiments of people asking India not to play Pakistan in the World Cup and I feel the government should take strong action on this issue. The after effect of this should be strong from India,” Ganguly was quoted.
Harbhajan chorused his former skipper during a television chat. “World Cup is very small when it comes to the country. 40 people who have lost their lives, who is going to pay for that? We have to stand united with the country. Even if we don’t play the 2019 World Cup, it won’t matter,” Harbhajan told India Today. India regular Yuzvendra Chahal, went one step further, suggesting that the issue be decided on battlefield by the two countries. “The decision to play the World Cup match against Pakistan has to be taken by the BCCI and the government. One or two players cannot decide but I think it is high time and we need to take strong action against the perpetrators of terrorism,” Chahal was quoted as saying by India Today.
He went to add, “This should settle once and for all. We can’t tolerate it any longer. Every three months we get to hear about our jawans losing their lives to terrorism and we can’t keep waiting for things to happen. We have to make things happen and we should settle this face to face, even if that means aar paar ki ladaai.”
Besides these issues, the committee will also look into IPL preparation as well as hear the issue of multiple bodies claiming representation of Uttarakhand. One of the CoA members, Diana Edulji said they “will discuss all possible options and do what is best for the country.”