In the wake of the deadly attack in Pulwama that claimed the lives of over 40 CRPF jawans, former Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Akhtar has said India have a right of pull out of the World Cup 2019 match against Pakistan.
In the last few days, the calls for India to boycott group stage match against Pakistan in the World Cup have intensified. Sunil Gavaskar feels India must play and beat them while Harbhajan Singh and Sourav Ganguly stated that India should opt against playing Pakistan on June 16 at Old Trafford.
While condemning the attack in Pulwama, Akhtar stated that it is India’s right if they want to play against Pakistan or not at the World Cup.
Akhtar while speaking to a Pakistan news channel stated that “Should sports stay political? Not at all. So these differences set in matters of circumstances. We strongly condemn the loss of lives.”
“But when it comes to our country, we are one nation, united and we will stand by our Prime Minister’s statement without having a second thought. They have a right to pull out. Their country was attacked and hence the decision, he added.”
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) also wants to play a bilateral series against Pakistan, said Akthat. “BCCI wants to play with Pakistan, the government says no. Had they played with Pakistan, the broadcasters and BCCI would have earned the maximum revenue. The series would have a monetary value of 600 million dollars. Do you think they don’t? Of course, they want that,” he added.