New Delhi, News24 Bureau, Feb 23: Virat Kohli has given a big statement on India, Pakistan playing cricket in the World Cup. The Indian captain said in as many words, "Our sincere condolences to the families of CRPF soldiers who lost their lives in Pulwama Attack. We stand by what the nation wants to do and what the BCCI decides to do. We will go by what the govt & the Board decides, we will respect that."
India captain Virat Kohli on Saturday said that his team will "respect the decision of the government" with regards to playing Pakistan in the upcoming World Cup in the wake of the Pulwama terror attacks where 40 CRPF personnel were martyred.
There has been calls to boycott the June 16 World Cup face-off against Pakistan at the Old Trafford in the aftermath of the dastardly attack but the Indian cricket board has not taken a call, putting the ball in government's court.
"Our stand is simple. We stick by what the nation wants to do and what the BCCI decides to do and that is basically our opinion," skipper Kohli said on the eve of India's opening T20 International against Australia on Sunday.
"Whatever the government and the board decide, we will eventually go by that and will respect that. So that is our stand on this particular issue," Kohli added.
The captain offered his condolences on behalf of the entire Indian team to the families of the martyred soldiers.
"Our sincere condolences to the families of the soldiers who lost their lives. The Indian team is really shocked and sad about what happened."
Kohli's stand is pretty similar to what chief coach Ravi Shastri echoed in an interview to a television channel where he said that the team will "accept whatever decision that the government takes."
"It's entirely left to the BCCI and the government. They know exactly what is happening and they will take a call. We will go by what they decide," Shastri said.
On Friday, the Committee of Administrators run BCCI decided against taking any stand on the World Cup clash against Pakistan but urged the ICC and other nations to "sever ties" with countries from where "terrorism emanates".
The Committee of Administrators (CoA) running Indian cricket Friday decided against taking any stand on the World Cup clash against Pakistan but said it would individually urge ICC members to "sever ties with any nation that is a terrorist hub".
In the meantime no decision on Indo-Pak World Cup clash yet: CoA
There has been a call to boycott the June 16 World Cup face-off against Pakistan at the Old Trafford in the aftermath of the Pulwama terror attack, which killed more than 40 CRPF personnel.
In a meeting to address the spiralling speculation around the match, the CoA deliberated on the matter but did not take any position for now.
"We are in talks with the government. No decision has been taken on the June 16 match," CoA chief Vinod Rai told reporters after the meeting.
"We are expressing two concerns to the ICC. We will ask for more protection for players during the World Cup and we will tell cricketing nations to severe ties with any nation that is a terrorist hub," he added.
There were reports that the CoA and the BCCI might approach the ICC seeking Pakistan's ouster from the mega-event in England that starts on May 30.
However, even such a move is unlikely to make any difference as there is no provision in the world body's regulations that allow one member to seek the ouster of another.
The call to boycott the match has come from some prominent names in Indian cricket such as senior off-spinner Harbhajan Singh and former captain Mohammed Azharuddin.
However, offering a different view, batting great Sunil Gavaskar has stated that India should not hand over points to Pakistan by boycotting the game. He advocated continued shunning of bilateral cricket ties.
With Agencies, Pics Google