'Forfeiting WC match to Pak, worse than surrender'

Congress leader Shashi Tharoor (PTI File Photo)

Amid calls for India to boycott its June 16 cricket World Cup clash against Pakistan in the wake of the Pulwama terror attack, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Friday said forfeiting the match would not just cost two points but also be "worse than surrender".

Tharoor, in a tweet, said the government did not even declare national mourning following the Pulwama attack and wants to cancel a match three months from now.

"Reminder: at the height of the 1999 Kargil War, India played Pakistan in the cricket World Cup, & won. To forfeit the match this year would not just cost two points: it would be worse than surrender, since it would be defeat without a fight," the senior Congress leader said.

"Our government did not even declare national mourning wants to cancel a match 3 months from now? Is that a serious response to 40 lives taken in cold blood? BJP wants to divert attention from its own fecklessness and inept handling of the crisis. We need effective action, not gesture politics," the MP from Thiruvananthapuram added.

Asked about Tharoor's remarks, Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said there should be no cricketing ties till terrorism being encouraged from Pakistani soil doesn't stop.

"India needs to adopt a strong stance against terrorism and in that strong stance cricket is included," he said.

The Committee of Administrators (CoA) running Indian cricket Friday decided against taking any stand on the World Cup clash against Pakistan but said it would individually urge ICC members to "sever ties with any nation that is a terrorist hub".

There has been a call to boycott the June 16 World Cup face-off against Pakistan at the Old Trafford in the aftermath of the Pulwama terror attack, which killed more than 40 CRPF personnel.

In a meeting to address the spiralling speculation around the match, the CoA deliberated on the matter but did not take any position for now.

Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar on Thursday said India stand to lose by boycotting Pakistan in the upcoming World Cup.

"Who wins if India decide against playing Pakistan in the World Cup? And I am not even talking about the semis and the finals. Who wins? Pakistan win because they get two points," Gavaskar told 'India Today'.

"India have so far beaten Pakistan every time in a World Cup, so we are actually conceding two points when by beating Pakistan, we could make sure that they don't advance in the competition," he said, adding that whatever the government decides, he would be with it "totally".

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'Forfeiting WC match to Pak, worse than surrender'

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