Union Sports Minsters Anurag Thakur said that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had earlier decided a bilateral series of cricket between India and Pakistan wouldn’t take place until Pakistan puts end to “terrorism” following the Anantnag encounter.
Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur while speaking to reporters said, “BCCI had decided much earlier that we would not play bilateral matches with Pakistan until they put an end to terrorism, cross-border attacks and infiltration. I think the sentiments of the country and of the public are also the same.”
The statement comes after three top Indian security personnel were recently killed in a gunfight in Anantnag’s encounter with Pakistan-based terrorists in Jammu & Kashmir which has enraged the entire country.
An Army Colonel commanding a Quick Response Team (QRT) of the Rashtriya Rifles, lost his life in the ongoing gunfight in the Anantnag district. An Army Major and a Deputy Superintendent with the Jammu and Kashmir Police also fell to enemy fire in the Kokernag area.
The slain senior Army officers and the DSP were identified as Colonel Manpreet Singh, Major Ashish Dhonak, and Humayun Bhat. India and Pakistan haven’t played a bilateral series since 2012/13, after that series the bilateral cricket ties between India and Pakistan have been suspended due to the heightened diplomatic tensions between the two neighbours.
Earlier this month, BCCI president Roger Binny and vice-president Rajeev Shukla travelled to Pakistan following an invitation to members of the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) and other cricket boards by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to attend Asia Cup matches taking place in Lahore. They also met players from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka teams at a gala dinner there.
Shukla said that the visit was a good one and hospitality of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) was good. The board had demanded the resumption of cricketing ties between India and Pakistan, but it would be decided by the centre.
“It was a two-day visit and a good visit. The Governor hosted a dinner in our honour. The hospitality of the people of the Pakistan Cricket Board was also good. Their demand was that cricket between the two countries should be resumed, we said it would be decided by govt and we would do whatever our govt would say. It was a cricket visit and there was no political agenda,” said Shukla.
Notably, the Pakistani cricket team will be visiting India next month to play the 50-over World Cup, including a league match against India in Ahmedabad on October 14. Last year, BCCI secretary Jay Shah announced that India will not travel to play Asia Cup 2023 which is being hosted by Pakistan and will be played at a neutral venue. Due to this, a hybrid model was adopted for the Asia Cup.