Anurag Thakur, Secretary of the BCCI, released a hard hitting statement some time back about his views on the proposed series against Pakistan. Thakur said that it wouldn’t be appropriate to play cricket against Pakistan, amidst border tensions mounting between the two nations.
“We cannot play cricket with Pakistan when people are dying on the border. We want peace with neighbours,” said Thakur to The Indian Express. “Even the Prime Minister Modi wants that. But Pakistan have to be serious on terror,” Thakur added.
Ironically, it was Thakur himself, who had recently said that cricket was the medium through which relations between the two nations could be improved. “I think you have to take a call on whether there should not be any talks. Let other countries go to UN and let other boards go to ICC for decisions, but you have to decide if you want to engage with them. So I think you have to decide diplomatically what call to take. If you engage with Pakistan, then you can raise the issue of terrorism as well as cricket as well as trade. But if you don’t engage, you give that opportunity to someone else,” said Thakur.
Thakur had also said, “We play Pakistan in the World Cup. We played them in the 2015 World Cup, we’ll play them next year in the Asia Cup. Then we’ll again play them in the month of March in World T20. So when you play them in a multinational tournament in world events, then what stops you from playing them in a bilateral series. So that’s the question we have to answer.”