India Urged To Boycott Pakistan In World Cup After Kashmir Attack

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NEW DELHI  — Indian cricket fans, angered by an at­tack claimed by Pakistan-based militants on Indian forces in disputed Kashmir, have urged India to boycott a World Cup match against Pakistan this summer.

The Cricket Club of India, among the country’s oldest clubs, also joined calls for the national team to stay away from the June 16 match in Britain, as Indians accused Pakistan of not doing enough to stop militants from operating on its soil.

Pakistan has denied any in­volvement in the suicide attack on a military convoy that killed 40 paramilitary police last week, the bloodiest loss by In­dian security forces in decades.

“Let’s boycott Pakistan in @ICC Cricket World Cup! Let’s stand together against the ter­rorism they are sponsoring,” cricket fan Ishan Datta said in a tweet. The International Cricket Council (ICC) governs world cricket. Another Indian cricket supporter said India’s cricket body, one of the world’s richest, should use its influence to force Pakistan out of the ICC.

“Either India will be part of World Cup 2019 or Pakistan. You have enough funds to pull this off,” the supporter tweeted.

India and Pakistan have not hosted a cricket series between their countries since 2013 due to political tensions.

However, the national teams have faced each other in tourna­ments such as the 2017 Cham­pions Trophy and 2018 Asia Cup held in neutral venues.

Reuters could not immedi­ately reach Amitabh Choud­hary, the acting secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), which manages In­dian cricket, for a comment on the calls for a boycott.

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The Cricket Club of India (CCI) said it supported a boycott of Pakistan at the World Cup in June.

“Though CCI is a sporting as­sociation, nation comes first, even before sports,” Suresh Bafna, its secretary, told Reuters partner ANI.

In CCI’s Mumbai office, a cloth had been placed over a portrait of former Pakistan captain and current Prime Minister Imran Khan, ANI and other media re­ported. Photographs of Paki­stani cricketers were removed from inside a cricket stadium in the northern Indian state of Punjab, which borders Pakistan, Indian media reported.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who faces an election that must be held by May, has promised a strong response. Pakistan has recalled its ambas­sador to India for consultations amid escalating tensions.

Coverage of the Pakistan Su­per League (PSL) Twenty20 competition has been blacked out in India. Event management company IMG Reliance decided against showing the matches live, and Indian television chan­nel D-Sport suspended cover­age of the Twenty20 league.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) expressed “extreme dis­appointment” on its website.

“Denying India cricket fans the right to follow PSL … as well as covering or removing por­trait of former Pakistan cricket captain and Prime Minister Im­ran Khan and other legendary cricketers from one of the most historic cricket clubs and ven­ues are highly regrettable ac­tions,” PCB Managing Director Wasim Khan said.

The PCB said it would take up the incidents at the ICC com­mittee meeting in Dubai later this month.

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