Recent news has emerged that BCCI is considering refusing to play Pakistan in the upcoming World Cup. With bilateral ties between the two countries stopped entirely, the only time they face each other is in ICC tournaments. BCCI is considering this because of the recent Pulwama attacks on the Indian soldiers. Cricketers like Harbhajan Singh, Sourav Ganguly and Mohammad Azharuddin, all have spoken on this subject. All of them believe that the nation comes first, and that they are Indians first, and cricketers later. Thus, they should not play Pakistan in the World Cup this year.
Now let me just give my personal opinion here. The way that the World Cup works is that all teams face each other one time in a round robin format. In the end, the top four teams in the league with the most points advance to the semi finals. For every match that a team wins, they get two points. Now let’s assume that India does boycott the match they have to play against Pakistan. In a way, India forfeits that match. So Pakistan will get the two points of that match, while India will get none. And let’s suppose that India does boycott the group stage match, but somehow both the teams manage to make it to the semis. If India faces Pakistan in the knockout stage and they refuse to play, they give Pakistan a direct ticket to the final, or to the trophy itself! Now does India want to get revenge on Pakistan by letting them move ahead without a fight in the biggest competition at the world stage?
I know that it is about ‘isolating’ Pakistan from the world and things like that, but this is not the way to do it. Sports were meant to unite the countries, not to help them push their political propaganda onto a global stage. Even if BCCI does go through with this, I don’t think ICC should allow this to happen. It is not in the spirit of sports. Rest assured, I am sure they will make the correct decision.