2019 Cricket World Cup comes in May. Just 100 days ahead of the tournament that will be hosted by England and Wales, Harbhajan Singh called for a boycott by India of the Pakistan game scheduled for the 16th of June. According to The Citizen, Harbhajan Singh played for India Test cricket until 2015.

Advertisement
Advertisement

In fact, he still has some prestige in the game as he plays at Indian Premier League level. He wants to boycott the Pakistan game as he believes they are promoting cross border terrorism.

India vs Pakistan cricket gets political

India and Pakistan have cross-border tensions and conflict between the two countries gets heated on and off the sports fields. Following a Kashmir attack that killed around 40 paramilitary personnel, AFP reported that the Cricket Club of India's Secretary, Suresh Bafna, also picked up on the anger and the call for a boycott.

India World Cup 2019 - calls for boycott of Pakistan Game - [Image credit- Rajiv Bhuttan/ Flickr]
India World Cup 2019 - calls for boycott of Pakistan Game - [Image credit- Rajiv Bhuttan/ Flickr]

He said, "CCI is a sporting association but nation comes first".

The incident happened on Thursday. Aljazeera reported that "20-year-old Adil Dar rammed his car filled with explosives into a convoy carrying Indian paramilitary forces, killing 42 of them". Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) claimed responsibility for the attack. The group is based in Pakistan, which accounts for the anger at the cricketing rivals.

Harbhajan Singh speaks about the World Cup Cricket 2019

Harbhajan Singh, very vocal about the country that fosters terror groups like JeM, said to AFP that India should not play the game in the World Cup against Pakistan.

Advertisement

He added, "country comes first for all of us and we are all standing with our forces". Additionally, he spoke to the Aaj Tak Hindi news this week, saying that the "Indian team is powerful enough to win the World Cup without playing Pakistan".

On Twitter, Indian people are agitated and angry and many of them also support the call for a boycott. "Pulwama attack: Stop Indus water treaty and cancel India Pakistan cricket match in upcoming world cup", posted the Anti Corruption Front.

Meanwhile, ATUL wrote, "India vs Pakistan match I will start campaign for cancelling India Pakistan cricket match scheduled in jun-2019 after week. Let's give one week to PM to cancel this match. If PM doesn't cancel this match in a week, then campaign may become verbally ugly".

It is very unfortunate that politics creeps into sports.

Advertisement

However, this is not the first time that cricket has seen boycotts at major cricket tournaments. In fact, India was a leading country who pushed for the boycott of South Africa from international sports in the Apartheid era, according to a report by the New York Times. Since the country had free and fair elections after the release of Nelson Mandela, the country has been accepted back into all spheres of international sport, including the World Cup Cricket tournaments.

Advertisement

Click to read more