Supporters of the Indian and Pakistani cricket teams at a game between the two arch-rivals.(Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
BOARD of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) vice president Rajeev Shukla has ruled out chances of the high-voltage India-Pakistan clash at the ongoing T20 World Cup in the Gulf to be cancelled saying while he condemns the attacks on non-Kashmiri civilians in the Valley, the board cannot pull out from an “international commitment”.
Demand has grown bigger in India to scrap the country’s upcoming match against the arch-rivals in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, on October 24, in the wake of the fatal attacks on civilians in Kashmir, both from the state and outside. Central ministers like Giriraj Singh have asked for “reconsideration” due to the tense relationship between the two neighbours.
According to Shukla, countries could not back out from tournaments organised by the International Cricket Council once they have committed. He also emphasised on the need to hold terror organisations accountable and said strict action should be taken against them.
“We strongly condemn the killings (J&K). Strict action should be taken against terror organisations. As far as the match (T20 WC IND vs PAK) is concerned, under ICC’s international commitments you can’t refuse to play against anyone. You’ve to play in ICC tournaments,” Shukla said.
Similar voices were raised in India ahead of the two countries’ clash in the 2019 World Cup in England following the ghastly terror attacks in Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir in February in which several Indian security personnel were killed. The match however took place eventually and India comprehensively beat the opponents.
India and Pakistan do not play bilateral series due to their troubled political relations and have met only in ICC tournaments played at neutral venues in the recent past.