Arguably India's best ever footballer and former national team skipper Bhaichung Bhutia has said that India not playing in the World Cup 2019 is not the solution to put pressure on Pakistan in the aftermath of the Pulwama terror attack, and instead, the BCCI should put pressure on the ICC to act against Pakistan.
There is an outrage within India following the heinous act by Pakistan-backed JeM in Kashmir last weeek. Cries of no cricketing ties with Pakistan has been growing with every passing second, which has put dark clouds over the fixture between the two countries in the upcoming World Cup.
Speaking exclusively to Republic TV, Bhutia felt that India should boycott any event held in Pakistan, but boycotting an event organized by ICC in England will only be a loss for the country.
"The tournaments which Pakistan is organizing, I feel India should boycott them. If the tournament is held at a neutral venue, for eg. the World Cup in England which ICC is organizing, I feel the BCCI should take the decision.....But India should definitely play in the World Cup because Pakistan isn't organizing. It will be a loss for us only. India boycotting the event isn't the right thing because the tournament is being held in England. Had it been held in Pakistan, India could have boycotted it. " he said.
He also felt that the onus is on the BCCI to make sure that some or the other action is taken against Pakistan in the wake of the recent terror attack.
"BCCI has to decide (boycotting India-Pakistan match). I feel the BCCI should take the decision. The BCCI can put pressure on the ICC that Pakistan should be pulled out due to the ongoing situation. What BCCI can do is request ICC to take some kind of action against Pakistan," Bhaichung Bhutia added.
The 82-time capped Indian international also backed the security forces in India to give terrorists a befitting reply, suggesting them to attack the hideouts where they hide in Pakistan.
"I feel that the manner in which terrorists attacked our forces, the Indian forces, which has so much intelligence and equipments, should take extreme actions on the hideouts of the terrorists in Pakistan," he further mentioned.
In light of the recent events, and the developments which have followed in the form of statements by Pakistan and its PM Imran Khan, Republic TV has started a campaign to boycott Pakistan, not just diplomatically or through cricket, but in all aspects. And Bhutia also felt this is the way forward.
"I feel this should be done (ban Pakistan). Till the time Pakistan doesn't take action against militants, I support the ban," the former Indian captain said.