Former Indian skipper Dilip Vengsarkar has put the onus on the Indian government on whether the Indian cricket team should play against Pakistan in the upcoming ICC World Cup 2019.
Speaking exclusively to Republic TV, the BCCI's former chairman of selectors suggested that the decision on boycotting Pakistan in terms of cricketing ties has to come from the government, given, in the past, the call was taken by them only.
"We have stopped the bilateral ties basically since 2007-08. But we have been playing in all the ICC tournaments, whether World Cup of ICC Champions trophy - all those tournaments. But the call (to boycott Pakistan) has to be taken by the Indian government, because they have to take the call. All these times, they had taken the call. So, it's up to the Indian government," he said.
The cries for ending all relations with Pakistan, including the cricketing ones, has grown in the aftermath of the Pulwama blast, a terror attack orchestrated by Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM).
The World Cup 2019 fixture between the two countries has dark clouds looming over it with a large section of people in India, including some present and former cricketers, demanding the match be canceled.
Harbhajan Singh was one of the individuals calling for India to boycott Pakistan. On Tuesday, he said that a match between the two countries would be an insult to the defence forces who have lost their lives over the years.
"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. 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 told Aaj Tak.
India's cricketing body, the BCCI, is undecided on this matter and will hold informal talks regarding the World Cup fixture. Sources have told Republic TV that while one section within the BCCI wants India to boycott Pakistan, the other section wants to go ahead with "wait and watch" approach.