In the aftermath of the Pulwama terror attack, one of India's best ever spinner, Harbhajan Singh, has demanded that the Indian national team should not play Pakistan in the upcoming World Cup 2019.
The relations between the two countries have been sour since decades, but the cricketing relations hit an all-time low between the neighboring nations following the 2008 Mumbai terror attack. Since then, India and Pakistan have played only one bilateral series - back in 2012/13 - and play against each other only when drawn during ICC or Asian tournaments.
But following the Pulwama attack, in which 40 CRPF jawans were martyred, many within the country feel cricketing ties of all manner should be cut with Pakistan. And Harbhajan is one of them.
"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," he told Aaj Tak.
The Turbanator also felt that if cricketing ties on international arena continues between the two countries, it would be an insult to the defence forces who have lost their lives over the years.
"We should not keep any kind of ties with Pakistan: we are powerful enough to feed the world on our own. Cricket, sports is not as important. We stand with every member of the defence force. Their sacrifices should no go to waste," Bhajji added.
Despite Pakistan-backed Jaish-e-Mohammad claiming resposibility for the Pulwama attack, Pakistan government has shied away from taking responsibility or acknowledging that the terrorists belonged to their country.
A number of venues within India, since the attack, have pulled down the photos or portraits of Pakistan players and Imran Khan from within its premises. They have done so to show solidarity with the security personnel who lost their lives last week.