'Politics should not be involved in sporting activities. They should not link politics to World Cup fixtures,' Syed Kirmani told MyNation on Wednesday when asked whether India should boycott ICC World Cup 2019 match against Pakistan in the aftermath of Pulwama terror attack
Bengaluru: In the aftermath of Pulwama terror attack, there have been calls for India to boycott the upcoming World Cup 2019 cricket match against Pakistan in England. However, legendary wicketkeeper Syed Kirmani, who was part of the 1983 World Cup triumph, thinks otherwise.
On February 14, a Jaish-e-Mohammad (JEM) suicide bomber rammed an explosives-laden SUV into a bus carrying CRPF jawans on Srinagar-Jammu highway. In this dastardly act, more than 40 jawans were martyred.
Also read: KSCA removes photos of Pakistan cricketers
Since then, there has been massive outrage in the country over Pakistan’s involvement in the suicide bombing. And, cricket fraternity too has expressed solidarity with the armed forces with veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh asking Virat Kohli-led India not to play against Pakistan in World Cup.
Kirmani, however, doesn’t agree to the opinion of forfeiting World Cup match against Pakistan on June 16 in Manchester.
“Politics should not be involved in sporting activities. They should not link politics with World Cup fixtures,” Kirmani told MyNation on Wednesday.
“Every match, every tournament is played by each team to win only. Looking at the current scenario there is more pressure on both India and Pakistan teams to win convincingly,” he added.
The 69-year-old recalled his playing days and said the players of India and Pakistan had good camaraderie and added that he did not know how it is now.
Kirmani, who played 88 Tests and 49 ODIs for India, opined that sporting relations bring harmony between countries and he wants the Virat Kohli-led side to respond in a gentlemanly way.
“Sports fraternity is the one which brings harmony between the countries. This (World Cup match) should take place. India should respond in a very gentlemanly manner and prove that there is nothing wrong between the sporting fraternities. The cricketers from India and Pakistan should prove that there is nothing on sports field. This is my opinion,” he said.
Recently, Harbhajan was quoted as saying that country comes first and the “Men in Blue” should not play Pakistan in England.
“There is no need for any relations with Pakistan, let alone cricket. Don't play the World Cup match with Pakistan on June 16 — country comes first for all of us and we are all standing with our forces,” Harbhajan had said.
“Pakistan has been promoting cross-border terrorism and this attack was unbelievably shocking,” he added.
After the Pulwama attacks, several cricket associations have removed photographs of Pakistan cricketers from their respective stadiums. The latest is the Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) in Bengaluru.
Earlier, Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) and Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA) had taken down images of Pakistan players from the IS Bindra Stadium in Mohali and Sawai Man Singh Stadium in Jaipur respectively.
Cricket Club of India (CCI) in Mumbai was the first to act as they covered the portrait of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, who led his country to 1992 World Cup triumph, at Brabourne Stadium.
Last Updated 3:05 PM IST