No Indication That Any World Cup Matches Won’t Go Ahead: ICC CEO
The International Cricket Council does not foresee any change in the schedule for the upcoming World Cup, despite speculation surrounding the India-Pakistan clash at the mega-event starting on 30 May.
In the wake of a terror attack in Pulwama, former India player and 2011 World Cup winner Harbhajan Singh wanted the Indian team to call off its World Cup 2019 runner against Pakistan, scheduled to be played in Manchester on 16 June.
But ICC Chief Exexutive Dave Richardson, when quizzed about the same by news agency PTI on Tuesday, 19 February, made it clear that the world governing body has no indication as of now of the match being cancelled.
“There is no indication that any matches at the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup will not go ahead as planned.”Dave Richardson, ICC CEO
“Our thoughts are with everyone who has been affected by this terrible inciden, and we will be monitoring the situation with our Members,” said Richardson, offering his condolences on the ghastly attack on 14 February which martyred 40 CRPF jawans.
The former South Africa wicketkeeper-batsman added that sport has the power to unite communities.
“Sport, in particular cricket, has the wonderful ability to bring people together and unite communities and we will work with our Members on that basis.”Dave Richardson, ICC CEO
Men who matter in the BCCI, too, have told PTI that not playing Pakistan in the World Cup is a “long shot” as of now.
“Harbhajan had shared his point of view but he didn't clarify what happens if we are again pitted against them in semi-final or suppose final. Does that mean that we will be forfeiting World Cup semi-final or final? So we are all talking about hypothetical situations,” said a senior BCCI official.
“For the record, India played Pakistan in a World Cup game in England in 1999 edition when Kargil War was at its peak,” the official added.
On Monday, 18 February, Harbhajan told a news channel: “India should not play Pakistan in the World Cup. India are powerful enough to win the World Cup without having to play Pakistan.”
Several affiliated units of the BCCI – the Cricker Club of India, the Punjab Cricket Association, the Rajasthan Cricket Association and the Karnataka State Cricket Association – have also removed pictures and portraits of Pakistani cricketers from their facilities.