Former Indian opening batsman Gautam Gambhir is of the opinion that India should boycott Pakistan and not care about losing two points in the upcoming World Cup, as sign of an intent in its stand against terrorism in the wake of Pulwama terror attack in which 44 CRPF jawans lost their lives.
Speaking to the media on the sidelines of an event, the 2011 World Cup winning star iterated that no purpose is served if India doesn't play bilateral series against Pakistan, but ends up playing against them in global events.
"Either you don’t play them anywhere or open doors for them. What happened in Pulwama is absolutely not acceptable. I am sure it’s going to be difficult to boycott Pakistan in World Cup but they are not playing them in bilaterals. The best they can do is to stop playing in Asia Cup as well, that’s what I believe," he said.
Citing the example of England, who avoided Zimbabwe in the 2003 World Cup and dropped two points by not traveling to the country, Gambhir suggested that the whole country, including media should stand together in making sure India boycotts Pakistan in cricket.
"England had decided not to travel to Zimbabwe in 2003 World Cup and gave those two points away. So, if BCCI decides that India should not play Pakistan they should be mentally ready and country should be too. It can’t be conditional ban, there could be repercussions as well. No media should blame India for not qualifying to the semifinals. The entire media and country should back the team as well," Gambhir added.
While the decision of whether to play or not play Pakistan lies in the hands of BCCI, the former Indian batsman, in his personal view, felt that there should be no cricketing ties with the neighboring country, even if it is the final of the World Cup.
"There is nothing wrong in forfeiting the game and losing two points. The lives of 40-41 (44) soldiers who lost their lives are far more important. My point is if India decides to forfeit then the entire country should back the team even if India have to play Pakistan in the World Cup final, even if you have to let go of that final they should be ready for it," he stated.