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Tuesday, May 28, 2019

WC set to start ~ should India forfeit its game against Pakistan ?


In January 1996, the Central Bank in Colombo, was bombed by the LTTE. It was one of the deadliest terrorist attacks. 91 people died and there were more than 1400 people who were injured.  A truck containing about 440 pounds of high explosives crashed through the main gate of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, a high-rise building which managed most of the financial business of Sri Lanka.

Michael Slater, the former Australia opening batsman and now commentator, will be heard on Channel Nine's World Cup broadcast after the ICC confirmed he remains a part of the world broadcast feed for the event, due to begin on May 30. Following a highly publicised incident on Sunday when Slater was escorted from a Qantas domestic flight from Sydney to his hometown of Wagga Wagga, after becoming embroiled in a heated argument with two female fellow travellers, ESPNcricinfo understands he was spoken to by host broadcasters and reminded of the behavioural standards all commentators must uphold.  Cricket World Cup 2019 is all set to begin !

Steven Smith has dismissed his reception by the Hampshire crowd as "white noise" and "water off a duck's back" after his century helped Australia to a 12-run victory over England.  Both Smith and David Warner were booed loudly by large sections of the crowd when they came out to bat and when they were dismissed, but Smith was also jeered when he reached fifty and then when he completed a sprightly hundred.

India would start their campaign at Southampton on 5th June (8th match of tournament) against South Africa.  On 9.6, we play Australia;  On 13.6 at Nottingham, we play Newzealand; on 16.6 – set to play Pakistan at Manchester;  22/6 Afghanistan at Southampton; 27/6 at Manchester against West Indies; 30/6 against England at Birmingham; 2/7 against Bangladesh; 6/7 against Sri Lanka at Leeds.. ..  of these should India play Pak at Manchester or should they refuse to play – meaning forfeit the game ! [please don’t jump on board with usual views of ‘games are different than politics’ – ‘this has never happened before’ – both are myth]

In the wake of the Pulwama terror attack in February this year, several citizens,  cricketers including Gautam Gambhir had raised their voice against neighbouring nation Pakistan and urged the government to cut all cricketing ties with them. Former Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi lashed out at cricketer-turned-MP Gautam Gambhir for suggesting that India should forfeit its match against Pakistan in the upcoming World Cup. Addressing a press conference on Saturday, the 44-year-old called Gambhir ‘foolish’ and also said that the citizens of India voted for a candidate who lacks wisdom.  Words from a cheater who has always fought with everyone .. ..  only recently, Pakistan opener Imran Farhat  criticised Shahid Afridi for ruining careers of other players for his own good. In his autobiography titled “Game Changer”, Afridi had revealed that he was not 16 years old when he made his senior national debut as he was born in 1975 and not 1980 ! – this is the kettle !!

Though there are no indications at present on India not playing Pakistan at Old Trafford, Manchester on 16.6 – it is for India to decide and Afridi can have no role in it.  First let him mend his fence and think of what he did to Pak cricket and palyers rather than advising any Indian.  He has attitude problem and bad mouthed India when IPL was out of bounds ..  .. that is one of his bones of cry.   Junaidkhan was dropped and reacted on twitter with mouth plastered.  On being asked about Junaid Khan’s reaction to being dropped from the 15-member Pakistan squad, Afridi said that the seamer’s method of protest was wrong, but he would have done the same.

What Pak prime minister Imran Khan has proved by refusing to condemn or take any action against the Pakistan-based terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammad which has openly claimed responsibility for the Pulwama suicide-car-bombing is that the 1992 World Cup winning captain is no longer a sportsman but just another pliable politician who will do anything to stay in power even if it means selling his soul to the PakisCan army’s ISI.  Now is here what history tells us .. :

Three weeks before the 1996 World Cup, as many as 1000 people were affected due to a terrorist attack in Colombo. This raised concerns over playing the match in Sri Lanka especially in Colombo. On the eve of World Cup, the hosts Sri Lanka faced Wills XI, a combined team of players from India and Pakistan. The game was organized to put away the security fears of teams.  In the 5th game of the tournament, Australia and Sri Lanka were set to face off at the RPS Stadium in Colombo which was the first game of both sides in the tournament. The Aussies decided to pull out of the game and were in Mumbai at the time of the game and conceded two points to Sri Lanka. The two faced off in the final in Lahore which Sri Lanka won by seven wickets to lift their maiden CWC title. Much like Australia, the Caribbean team too showed fears in playing against Sri Lanka in Colombo. However, the walkover given by Windies to Sri Lanka gave a chance to the underdogs.

Before you try to link Srilanka, LTTE terrorism and more .. forfeiture / walkover was not restricted to Sri Lanka alone .. .. .. England were placed in Group A during the 2003 World Cup alongside formidable teams in form of Australia, India and Pakistan. England were slated to play their first match in Harare against Zimbabwe. England forfeited the game over moral, political and contractual aspects. The England team were clear about not touring Zimbabwe prior to the start of the tournament. The then British Prime Minister Tony Blair ordered his team not to play in Zimbabwe Much like England, the New Zealand side showed fears in touring Kenya owing security reasons. The Kenyan capital Nairobi was under terrorist threat and the game between the hosts and Kiwis was slated in the same city. The Blackcaps were clear with their stand of not playing the game in Kenya and ended up conceding four points.

~ and there are so many instances of teams not participating in Olympics .. .. boycotting the games

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
28.5.2019.

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