The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has stated that it will, in the ICC meeting later this month, rake up the covering of portraits, photos of its PM Imran Khan and other cricketers by a few cricket associations in India in the aftermath of the Pulwama terror attack.
The portraits of Imran Khan, former skipper of his nation, and other Pakistan players were either temporarily covered or removed from a couple of venues as a sign of solidarity with the 40 CRPF jawans who were martyred following an IED blast by the Jaish-e-Mohammad last week.
Pakistan is facing the heat from India, which is acting against its neighboring country throw a slew of measures. But the PCB feels that this move will only hamper the relations between the two country.
"...we have always believed and emphasised that sports and politics should be kept separate. History tells us that sports, particularly cricket, have always played a key role in building bridges between people and countries," PCB's Managing Director Wasim Khan said in the statement.
He further mentioned that such a development will only hamper the relations between the two countries, and termed the move as 'regrettable'.
"... covering or removing portrait of former Pakistan cricket captain and Prime Minister Imran Khan and other legendary cricketers from one of the most historic cricket clubs and venues are highly regrettable actions," the statement added.
On Saturday, the Cricket Club of India, for an interim period, decided to cover the portrait of the former Pakistan skipper and mentioned that after consultation with members, it may even permanently remove the portrait.
"We respect Imran Khan's cricket credentials but at the same time he is Pakistan PM & we're just showing our solidarity for our forces & our country," said CCI President Premal Udani before adding, "We have temporarily covered his portrait but we will soon meet and decide over removing his portrait from CCI permanently. It's a weekend and we hope in some days, we will have a detailed board meet and a decision for removal of this portrait will be taken in that."
A day later, the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) took a similar action by bringing down the photos of the Pakistan players from the Mohali stadium.
"As a humble step, the PCA has decided to show its solidarity with the families of martyrs of the Pulwama attack. There is so much anger in the nation against the heinous attack and PCA is no different in this,” PCA treasurer Ajay Tyagi said.
(With inputs from PTI)