Play and thrash Pakistan in World Cup, says Haryana sports minister

first_imgHaryana sports minister Anil Vij on Saturday suggested Team India should not boycott World Cup match against Pakistan in England. Speaking to Mail Today, Vij said that refusing to play would only benefit Pakistan, who would receive a boost in their chances of reaching the knockout rounds.Following the February 14 attack on a CRPF convoy in Pulwama, which claimed the lives of at least 42 soldiers, there has been increasing clamour for India to sever all ties with Pakistan, including on the cricket field.Ex-players like Harbhajan Singh and Mohammad Azharuddin have called for India to boycott their World Cup fixture against Pakistan. However, Sunil Gavaskar and Sachin Tendulkar want the country to play.The senior BJP leader and Haryana minister Vij, too, echoed Gavaskar and Tendulkar’s views.”See, India should not play the bilateral series with Pakistan or any series between the two. But ICC World Cup is a multinational event and India should play, no matter what country they face. Why should we back out? India should play and thrash Pakistan completely in the major event,” the minister said.”But yes, I would also want say that the matter will be decided later by the Indian government and the board (BCCI),” he added.The bilateral cricketing ties between the two countries have already been suspended since 2012 and the teams last played a full series in 2007.Last week, the International Cricket Council (ICC) assured the BCCI that if need arises, it will uplift the security based on advice of relevant agencies to address India’s concerns during the World Cup.advertisementAt the start of the ICC’s Chief Executives Committee (CEC) meeting in Dubai, BCCI CEO Rahul Johri expressed India’s concerns about the security of its players in the mega event which is scheduled to start May 30.”On behalf of the BCCI, Rahul Johri raised concerns for the safety and security of the Indian team, match officials and the Indian Fans, at the CEC Meeting,” said a senior BCCI official.Also Watch:last_img read more