Despite efforts from Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), the Pakistan-India World Cup fixture is under no threat, International Cricket Council (ICC) confirmed on Tuesday.
Pakistan is scheduled to play its arch-rivals India in a group-stage game in Manchester on June 16, which BCCI wanted to boycott due to political reasons.
ICC, however, claimed that the governing body cannot back an unfair demand.
ICC Chief Executive Officer Dave Richardson said:
For ICC events, all teams have signed a members’ participation agreement, which requires them to participate in all the matches of the tournament and (in case of) any unjustified non-compliance with that provision, the playing conditions will kick in and the points will be awarded accordingly (to the other team).
Some prominent names of Indian cricket such as Harbhajan Singh and Sachin Tendulkar insisted that India should boycott the fixture against Pakistan in the wake of Pulwama terror attack. Following the demand, the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) had written to the global cricket governing body, urging it to boycott countries from where “terrorism emanates”.
The ICC has given a befitting response to BCCI, claiming that sports and politics should be kept separate.
The ICC’s motto is clear. We don’t want to mix politics with sports.
Speaking about resuming bilateral ties between both countries, Dave said that ICC has no control over that and it depends entirely on the boards of both countries.
When asked about Pakistan objecting to Indian cricket team wearing the army caps in the third one-day international against Australia in Ranchi recently, ICC Chief said:
In that case, it was a one-off consent. It was granted subject to the message around the wearing of the caps simply being in sympathy with the people who had lost their lives in the (Pulwama) attack and in particular to help them raise funds for the families of the people who had lost their lives.