Post Pulwama terror attack, don’t play Pakistan in the 2019 Cricket World Cup has almost become a national sentiment
In the wake of the Pulwama terror attack, voices are growing across the country everyday, asking India to boycott playing Pakistan in the 2019 Cricket World Cup. Harbhajan Singh and Mohammad Azharuddin are among the latest Indian cricketers who have opined that playing cricket with Pakistan is not right considering what has happened, even if it is the World Cup. The BCCI, on the other hand, has clearly stated that the final decision on the matter will be taken by the Indian government. Some reports also claim that there is a concerted Indian move to keep Pakistan out of the cricket World Cup in England, and BCCI will be writing to ICC over the same.
What exactly can happen though if India indeed decide not to play Pakistan at the 2019 World Cup? Here’s analysing three likely scenarios.
1. Pakistan will be awarded points: If India indeed decide to forfeit their match against Pakistan scheduled for June 16 at Old Trafford, the latter is likely to be awarded thee points for the match while India might not get any. This could prove to be crucial towards the end of the league stage when the tussle for the four semi-final spots gets intense. According to Hindustan Times though, BCCI is yet to sign the Members Participation Agreement (MPA) and thus BCCI still has the right to decide on whether or not to play Pakistan in the World Cup, which basically means India may not lose any points even in case they forfeit the match.
2. Sanctions against India: The ICC rules do not permit India to withdraw or boycott their game against Pakistan without (a) forfeiting points and (b) inviting sanctions. As such, India could have to face the consequences of not turning up for the game against Pakistan. In fact, former India player Chetan Chauhan told ANI that a pull out could mean that India may be fined or even banned. The latter seems a distant possibility considering BCCI’s clout in World Cup. Even so, Chauhan feels it would be better if India pushes for a ban on Pakistan from the 2019 World Cup.
3. What if it is the semi-final or final? Even if India boycott their league match against Pakistan, there is still a possibility that the teams might be pitted against each other in the knockout stages. If it’s the semi-final, and India again decide not to play, the match will be awared to Pakistan. While such a scenario has not occurred before in the knockout stages, Indian fans would clearly recall that the 1996 World Cup semi-final was awarded to Sri Lanka after the match was interrupted at Eden Gardens due to crowd trouble following a spectacular Indian batting collapse. As for the final, if indeed India and Pakistan make it to the summit clash and the former refuses to play, Pakistan will be declared World Champions without a ball being bowled in the final.
About the Pulwama terror attack
At least 40 CRPF personnel were killed in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district on February 14 when a Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist rammed an explosives-laden vehicle into the bus they were travelling in, one of the worst terror strikes in the state in recent years, officials told PTI.
More than 2,500 Central Reserve Police Force personnel, many of them returning from leave to rejoin duty in the Valley, were travelling in the convoy of 78 vehicles when they were ambushed on the Srinagar-Jammu highway at Latoomode in Awantipora.