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Will abide by government stand: Virat on playing Pakistan

February 25, 2019

India's cricket captain Virat Kohli has said that he and his team would stand by whatever decision the government and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) take regarding playing Pakistan in the World Cup 2019.

There is much speculation over whether India will refuse to take part in the World Cup game between India and Pakistan, scheduled to be played on 16 June in Manchester, England. Ahead of the first T20i against Australia, Kohli made this statement.

Our sincere condolences to the families of CRPF soldiers who lost their lives in the PulwamaAttack. We stand by what the nation wants to do and what the BCCI decides to do. - Virat Kohli, India cricket captain

There has been a growing demand that India boycott the matches against Pakistan as a mark of protest against the Pulwama terror attack. Forty CRPF personnel were killed and this was claimed by Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed.

The BCCI has decided to not hold the Indian Premier League (IPL) opening ceremony and instead use the budget to benefit the families of the soldiers killed in Pulwama.

Sachin Tendulkar has backed India playing Pakistan, saying that not playing would mean Pakistan gets two points. "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," Tendulkar tweeted.

He also said, "Having said that, for me India always comes first, so whatever my country decides, I will back that decision with all my heart".

Former India captain Sourav Ganguly reacted to the legendary batsman's comments saying he would rather want the title than worrying about losing two points. "He wants two points against Pakistan, I want the World Cup. Whichever way you look at it".

Ganguly had called for severing all sporting ties with Pakistan like his former teammate Harbhajan Singh. "This is a 10-team World Cup and each team plays matches against every other team. If India doesn't play a match in the World Cup, it won't be an issue".

Former Pakistan captain Javed Miandad had taken a dig at Ganguly for his comments, saying the latter wants to run for elections and aspires to be the chief minister, and that this was a publicity stunt. Ganguly reacted saying, "I have no reaction to Miandad. I enjoyed watching him bat. I thought he was a fantastic player for Pakistan."

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