“A Strong Message Should Be Sent”: BCCI Mulls Asking ICC To Ban Pakistan From Upcoming Cricket World Cup

India is scheduled to play Pakistan on 16 June at Manchester, and tickets for the match have already been sold out. (representative image)(SportzWiki Cricket/Facebook)

The Committee of Administrators (CoA) appointed by the Supreme Court has drafted a letter addressed to International Cricket Council (ICC) Chairman Shashank Manohar, asking the governing body to ban Pakistan from participating in the 2019 ICC World Cup or India could consider withdrawing themselves from the World Championships.

According to a Times of India report, CoA chairman Vinod Rai would decide to send the letter on Thursday (21 February), after full legal consultations on whether the Cricket Governing Body should be communicated.

The letter has reportedly been drafted by the office of BCCI chief Rahul Johri after express approval from CoA Vinod Rai. "In the light of the recent terrorist attack in Kashmir, the Board is of the view that the ICC should ban Pakistan from participating," sources said while sharing the draft letter's content.

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People following the dynamics of the sports industry dismiss such a move as “political gimmick”.

“BCCI can't take a stand on this. Nations have suffered disputes in the past but that hasn’t led to non-participation in global events like FIFA and Olympics,” said sources, adding that asking the governing body to ban another team to participate in a multi-nation tournament is not at a single members discretion.

"How the ICC works is simple. It will be put to vote. It's not India's discretion that'll work here - that is if things go to that extent in the first place. There has to be a general consensus on the matter and BCCI still hasn't worked out if there is any," sources said while adding that there are massive legal consequences involved.

Former Indian cricket team captain Sourav Ganguly said that after the Pulwama terror attack, the possibility of India playing Pakistan in bilateral cricket has reduced to zero.

On BCCI seeking a ban on Pakistan in the upcoming world cup, he said, “ICC can't go on with a World Cup without India and I feel it will be really difficult for ICC to go on with a World Cup without India. But, you also have to see if India has the power to stop ICC from doing such a thing. But, I feel a strong message should be sent," as quoted by India Today.

India is scheduled to play Pakistan on 16 June at Manchester, and tickets for the match have already been sold out.

There is no confirmation yet on whether the CoA would be sending the draft as it would be a result of various concerns. "There could be pressure from the government. There's public sentiment and emotion that BCCI could take into account”, sources said.

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