IND vs PAK: Will respect decision what Govt, BCCI take, says Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli

New Delhi, Feb 23: India captain Virat Kohli on Saturday broke his silence on the issue of playing Pakistan in the ICC World Cup after he was quizzed on the topic at the press conference ahead of the T20I series against Australia in Visakhapatnam.

While Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is relying on the government to take the final call, Kohli has vowed to respect whatever the decision is.

“Our sincere condolences to the families of CRPF soldiers who lost their lives in Pulwama attack. We stand by what the nation wants to do and what the BCCI decides to do. We will go by what the government and the Board decides, we will respect that,” Kohli during the media conference on Saturday.

Team India coach Ravi Shastri on Friday also weighed in on the controversy surrounding the future of the match which is scheduled for June 16.

Shastri also said that he will accept the decision taken by BCCI and the Government about playing the match or not. Shastri went os far as to even say that the Indian cricket team will not play the 2019 World Cup entirely if the Indian Government asks them not to.

Sachin Tendulkar on Friday agreed with Sunil Gavaskar and said that he would “hate” to see India concede two points to Pakistan by not playing.

“India has always come up trumps against Pakistan in the World Cup. Time to beat them once again. Would personally hate to give them two points and help them in the tournament,” said Tendulkar in a statement.

On Friday, BCCI wrote letter to the ICC, urging cricketing nations to sever ties with all countries from where terrorism emanates.

The BCCI also urged the game’s global governing body to ensure the safety of Indian players in the upcoming ICC tournaments in the aftermath of the terror attack in Pulwama that killed 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) jawans on February 14.

Read More: Sever cricket ties with countries supporting Terrorism: BCCI writes to ICC

The BCCI’s Committee of Administrators (CoA) met for more than four hours on Friday to take a call on playing arch rivals Pakistan at the World Cup on June 16.

But the CoA members were undecided on the issue even after the marathon meeting and appeared to be waiting for an indication from the government.

“The June 16 (India vs Pakistan) match is very far away. We will take a call on that much later. We will take a decision only after consultations with the government,” CoA Chairman Vinod Rai told reporters.

Asked about the views of some former players and officials who have demanded a boycott of the match against Pakistan, Rai said he would not like to comment on what others say.

Rai said that there will not be any Indian Premier League (IPL) opening ceremony and the amount of the budget allotted for the ceremony will be given to families of the victims of the Pulwama terror attack.

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