The whole country is under deep sadness after the recent Pulwama terror attack. Harbhajan Singh, the senior Indian off-spinner, feels India shouldn’t play against Pakistan in the upcoming World Cup.
More than 40 soldiers have lost their lives in that Pulwama terror attack incident that happened on last Thursday (14 February). The Pakistan-based terrorist organisation Jaish-e-Mohammed carried out that suicide bomb attack.
Many Indians have come to protest against that incident by throwing away the entire relationship with Pakistan. India has stopped broadcasting the ongoing Pakistan Super League (PSL 2019). The Indian company IMG-Reliance has decided to pull out the PSL television coverage deal in worldwide.
Some Indian cricket stadiums have removed or covered the pictures of Pakistan cricketers. The Pakistan artists also have been banned in India.
Many Indians also believe that India shouldn’t play against Pakistan in the upcoming World Cup. Harbhajan Singh also has a similar opinion.
As per the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup schedule, India and Pakistan will meet in the tournament on 16 June at Old Trafford (Manchester).
Harbhajan Singh believes that India is powerful enough to win the World Cup, even after not playing against Pakistan in the group stages.
He recently told Aaj Tak, “India should not play Pakistan in the World Cup. India are powerful enough to win the World Cup without having to play Pakistan. This is a difficult time. The attack that has happened, it was unbelievable and it’s very wrong. Strict action will surely be taken by the government. When it comes to cricket, I don’t think we should have any relations with them otherwise they will keep treating us like this.”
Country comes first, and we are all standing behind our country
Due to the political tensions between the two countries, India and Pakistan haven’t played a bilateral series in international cricket, since January 2013. Now, they only meet in the multinational international tournaments (ICC or ACC tournaments).
Harbhajan Singh feels that the nation should always come first. He believes that India shouldn’t have any relations with Pakistan in any condition.
He added, “I don’t think we need to have any relations with Pakistan or play any cricket with them. I don’t think India should play the World Cup match against Pakistan. Country comes first and we are all standing behind our country. Cricket or hockey or sports, it should be kept aside because this is a huge thing and repeatedly our soldiers are killed. We should stand with our country. Cricket or hockey or any sport, we don’t need to play with them.”
What happens if we have to play Pakistan in the semi-final or final
If India decides to forfeit the World Cup group stage game against Pakistan, they will lose the points. Later, Harbhajan Singh was asked what India should do if they meet against Pakistan in the semi-final or final of the upcoming World Cup.
In reply, Harbhajan Singh said, “We are too small to discuss what needs to be done – there are big people sitting in power who can take a call. What happens if we have to play Pakistan in the semi-final or final? There’s plenty of time for June-July. The people in power will need what to do. But nobody can harm India. What happened in Pulwama is tragic. We are safe today only because of our defence forces.”
England and Wales will host the upcoming 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup from 30 May to 14 July. India will begin their World Cup journey on 5 June against South Africa at Southampton.