Will India play Pak at World Cup? Who is saying what
In the wake of a recent terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama that killed over 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel, there have been calls for a complete cricketing boycott against Pakistan.
While Harbhajan Singh and Yuzvendra Chahal have called for a complete cricketing boycott, Virat Kohli and head coach Ravi Shastri said that the team will respect the decision of the government.
Virat Kohli said that his team will "respect the decision of the government" with regards to playing Pakistan in the upcoming World Cup.
"Our stand is simple. We stick by what the nation wants to do and what the BCCI decides to do and that is basically our opinion," skipper Kohli said.
"Whatever the government and the board decide, we will eventually go by that and will respect that. So that is our stand on this particular issue," Kohli added.
India's chief coach Ravi Shastri said in an interview to a television channel that the team will "accept whatever decision that the government takes."
"It's entirely left to the BCCI and the government. They know exactly what is happening and they will take a call. We will go by what they decide," Shastri told Mirror Now.
"If the government says it's that sensitive you do not need to play the World Cup, I will go by my government," the head coach further said.
The Committee of Administrators
The Committee of Administrators run BCCI decided against taking any stand on the issue but urged the ICC and other nations to "sever ties" with countries from where "terrorism emanates".
"The 16th of June is very far away. We will take a call on that much later and in consultation with the government," CoA chief Vinod Rai had said.
"We must sever ties with nations from which such terrorism emanates. We will express our concern on an appropriate forum," Rai had further added.
Sunil Gavaskar said the country can continue to "hurt them" by shunning bilateral ties.
"Who wins if India decide against playing Pakistan in the World Cup? And I am not even talking about the semis and the finals. Who wins? Pakistan win because they get two points," Gavaskar told 'India Today'.
"India have so far beaten Pakistan every time in a World Cup, so we are actually conceding two points when by beating Pakistan, we could make sure that they don't advance in the competition."
"(But) I am with the country, whatever the government decides, I am with it totally. If the country wants we shouldn't play Pakistan, I am with them," he added.
Sachin Tendulkar said he would "hate" to see India concede two points to Pakistan by not playing them in the upcoming World Cup as such a move would only help the arch-rivals in the mega-event.
"India has always come up trumps against Pakistan in the World Cup. Time to beat them once again. Would personally hate to give them two points and help them in the tournament," said Tendulkar in a statement to PTI.
"Having said that, for me India always comes first, so whatever my country decides, I will back that decision with all my heart," the legendary batsman added.
Harbhajan Singh doesn't want India to play Pakistan in World Cup.
He said India are strong enough to win the World Cup even if they decide to forfeit the match against Pakistan in Manchester on June 16.
"India should not play Pakistan in the world Cup. India are powerful enough to win the World Cup without having to play Pakistan," Harbhajan Singh told 'Aaj Tak' news channel.
"This is a difficult time. The attack that has happened, it was unbelievable and it's very wrong. Strict action will surely be taken by the government. When it comes to cricket, I don't think we should have any relations with them otherwise they will keep treating us like this," he added.
Spinner Yuzvendra Chahal said the team stands by whatever the Indian government and cricket board decides.
He said, "It's not in our hands, if BCCI says, we will play if they say no then we won't. I think it is high time, we need to take firm action. I am not saying all people there(Pakistan) are at fault but those who are responsible should be acted against."
Former Indian cricket team captain Sourav Ganguly has responded to Sachin Tendulkar's comment that India should not concede two points to Pakistan by not playing them.
According to a report on Times Now, Sourav said, "He (Sachin) wants 2 points against Pakistan, I want World Cup."