Former India cricketer Aakash Chopra has given his opinion on the increasing calls for India to boycott their World Cup group stage match against Pakistan on June 16 at Old Trafford in Manchester.
In the aftermath of the dastardly Pulwama attack that claimed the lives of 40 CRPF jawans, the general consensus in the country is that the ‘Men in Blue’ shouldn’t play against Pakistan at this year’s showpiece tournament in the UK.
Chopra, on the other hand, has said that India isn’t a ‘regressive’ country and therefore, politics and sports shouldn’t be mixed together. He went onto the extent of asking the question that what will be the worth of the trophy if India don’t beaten Pakistan on their way to glory.
“It’s a question whether India should be playing against Pakistan in the World Cup or not. Do we need to answer it now? The wounds of the attack are very fresh. What has happened in Pulwama has hurt all of us. We are all pained and saddened,” Chopra was quoted as saying by India Today.
“We will always make decisions based on emotions. But do we need to make that decision right now? I don’t think we are obliged to make that decision today.
We are not a regressive nation in any way. We are a proud nation that actually is mature enough to distinguish between the two (sport and politics). We are already not playing bilateral cricket with them. You want to be the world champions. You want to be the best. What will be the worth of that World Cup trophy if you haven’t beaten Pakistan along the way?” he added.
Earlier, cricketer Harbhajan Singh had said that it doesn’t even matter if India opt against playing in the World Cup. Bhajji stated that no one is bigger than the nation and players are Indian first and then sportsmen.
“World Cup is very small when it comes to the country. 40 people who have lost their lives, who is going to pay for that? We have to stand united with the country. Even if we don’t play the 2019 World Cup, it won’t matter,” Harbhajan was quoted as saying by India Today.