BCCI to meet on ‘no-Pakistan at World Cup’ stance, ICC watches on

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first_imgThe International Cricket Council (ICC) will be keeping a close eye on the BCCI meet involving Committee of Administrators (COA) on Friday when they deliberate to finalize India’s position vis-a-vis ICC World Cup 2019.In an internal communication, the COA chairman Vinod Rai has asked the board’s CEO Rahul Johri to draft an unprecedented letter to the ICC stating that Pakistan be kept away from the World Cup in the wake of the terror attacksin Phulwama which resulted in the death of 40 CRPF jawans. Pakistan-based terror outfit, Jaish-e-Mohammed claimed responsibility.BCCI officials privately admit it isn’t playing by the rule book by asking ICC to keep Pakistan away from the upcoming ten-team World Cup starting May 30th. If the BCCI goes ahead with the proposed draft letter, it’s unlikely to pass the muster constitutionally or contractually at the ICC.But Rai’s strong stance is said to have the blessings of the Indian government. In the aftermath of attacks, India’s central leadership has taken multiple measures from withdrawing most favoured nation status from Pakistan to stopping the share of water that flew to Pakistan. Rai refused to confirm if the BCCI had been sounded off by the government.COA member Diana Edulji did say the COA should seek government’s opinion before taking such a drastic call. “We will discuss the procedures to be followed and the way forward. All the concerned ministries, External affairs, Sports, Home will be consulted,” she said. The COA now also has an additional member in Lt.Gen Ravi Thodge.advertisementMany BCCI officials, past and present, none of who were consulted by the COA chairman about the ‘evict-Pakistan from World Cup’ stance are unsure how the move will play out. No one though wants to come on record to register their reservations in light of the prevailing sentiment in the country.Former captain Sunil Gavaskar though who has served as an interim BCCI-IPL head in the past does see things differently. “Who wins if India decides against playing Pakistan in the World Cup? And I am not even talking about the semis and the finals. Who wins? Pakistan win because they get two points,” he told India Today.”India have so far beaten Pakistan every time in a World Cup, so we are actually conceding two points when by beating Pakistan, we could make sure that they don’t advance in the competition.”If the move is driven by the government though, Gavaskar added he has no problems. “I am with the country, whatever the government decides, I am with it totally. If the country wants we shouldn’t play Pakistan, I am with them,” he added.Even in the scenario where BCCI cannot keep Pakistan out of the World Cup and only refuse to play the Pakistan game, they would need to armed with a government diktat to avoid facing commercial ramifications. Only after the COA meet would one know how firm a position BCCI is willing to take at the ICC boardroom and whether the Indian government would take any official position at all.BCCI representatives, CEO Rahul Johri and acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary would be attending ICC meetings starting February 27 when the issue will come up on the sidelines of official business.Also Read | Let India beat Pakistan and ensure they don’t advance in World Cup: Sunil GavaskarAlso Read | Keep Pakistan out of Cricket World Cup, BCCI to tell ICC in wake of Pulwama terror attackAlso Read | Should India play Pakistan at World Cup? Harbhajan Singh and Sunil Gavaskar differAlso Read | 400000 ticket applicants for India vs Pakistan, claims World Cup Tournament DirectorAlso Read | Beat them comprehensively: Sushil Kumar tells Team India on World Cup clash with Pakistanlast_img

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