Many cricket associations have taken the step to remove photographs and portraits of Pakistani cricketers from their premises including that of 1992 World Cup winner Imran Khan – who is now the Prime Minister of Pakistan. The unique protest comes in the week that has seen many players, current and former, administrators and state cricket associations express their sentiments over the terror act in Pulwama which killed 40 CRPF soldiers.
The unique protests are believed to have started by the iconic Cricket Club of India (CCI) when they covered the portrait of 1992 World Cup winning captain Imran Khan.
Cricket Club of India (CCI) secretary Suresh Bafna: “We condemn the terror activities carried out against our army and CRPF personnel. Though CCI is a sporting association but nation comes first even before sports. He [Imran Khan] should respond. He is the Prime Minister and if he believes that Pakistan has no role to play in the attack then why is he not coming out openly. He should come out openly. People should know the truth. He is not coming out openly which means that there are stains in their folds. We called a meeting on the very next day of the attack and to condemn the attack, we decided to cover the photo. We’ll be deciding soon how to remove the photo.”
Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) Secretary Sudhakar Rao: “We at Karnataka state cricket Association to show our solidarity and support to our armed forces; and to express our strong protest against the recent terrorist bombing at Pulwama, we have brought down all photographs of Pakistan Cricketers including Imran Khan. Country comes first. We removed the photos two days ago. This is in support of the country in such a sensitive situation. Not just KSCA, many other associations across the country are doing the same. While a couple of photographs were taken during an ICC meeting here, some were shot whenever Pakistan played India at the Chinnaswamy.”
Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) treasurer Ajay Tyagi: “As a humble step, the PCA has decided to show its solidarity with the families of martyrs of the Pulwama attack. There is so much anger in the nation against the heinous attack and PCA is no different in this.”
Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA) vice president Mohammad Iqbal: “BCCI, RCA and other associations are with the families of martyred soldiers. As a mark of protest, we have removed pictures of Pakistan cricket players. We wish that India takes the revenge for the act.”
Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) stadium Manager Col H.S. Manhas: “We have decided to remove all the photos of Pakistani players from our stadium to express solidarity with the families of CRPF martyred troopers in Pulwama attack.”