India vs Pakistan ICC World Cup Debate: In the wake of the Pulwama attack that killed 40 CRPF jawans, fans from India do not want the World Cup fixture with Pakistan to go ahead as planned. UP minister Chetan Chauhan gave his verdict on whether India should play Pakistan or just forfeit the match. He felt it is difficult to not participate in global tournaments as compared to bilateral series. He also feels BCCI could pay heavily if they opt to opt out of the tie. Chauhan said, “Not participating in global tournaments is not easy as every tournament has its rules & many participating nations. If we pull out, we may have to face consequences, could be fined or banned, I think Govt & BCCI will consider this.”

Meanwhile, TV reports suggest that PCB will hold talks with BCCI in Dubai during the ICC meeting and discuss this issue there. It was the PCB which had earlier said that politics and sports should be separate, but in the current scenario that is not how Indians want things to pan out.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Managing Director Wasim Khan said in a statement that cricket has always played a key role in building bridges between people and countries. He also expressed “extreme” disappointment over the removal of posters of Pakistan Prime Minister and World Cup-winning skipper Imran Khan in the Cricket Club of India, Mumbai, and elsewhere and IMG Reliance pulling out of the deal to produce and broadcast PSL 2019 in the aftermath of the Pulwama terror attacks.

“Unfortunately, denying India cricket fans the right to follow HBL PSL by blocking all digital coverage as well as covering or removing the portrait of former Pakistan cricket captain and Prime Minister Imran Khan and other legendary cricketers from one of the most historic cricket clubs and venues are highly regrettable actions.

“The PCB has also noted the recent turn of events and expresses its extreme disappointment as we have always believed and emphasised that sports and politics should be kept separate. History tells us that sports, particularly cricket, have always played a key role in building bridges between people and countries.” Wasim said in a statement.