Former India skipper Sourav Ganguly has echoed almost the same sentiments as BCCI president Anurag Thakur saying that there is no point in playing cricket with Pakistan unless they stop cross-border terrorism.
On September 18, four terrorists allegedly from Pakistan attacked an army camp in Uri and killed 18 soldiers. It was reported as "the deadliest attack on security forces in Kashmir in two decades"
In an interview with Aaj Tak, Ganguly said, "This has happened earlier also when cricket between the two countries was cancelled. And when all this keeps happening at the border it is not just difficult but also not right to have cricket between the two.“We all want India-Pakistan to play cricket but if they want to play then they (Pakistan) have to stop all this cross-border terrorism."
Earlier Thakur had said,"In the context of what has happened even considering such a thought is not appropriate.”Ganguly too supported Thakur’s statement saying,"I know where Anurag is coming from. How can you have cricket in the backdrop of all this.”
Ganguly had played in 311 One-Day Internationals and had captained the side on many occasions against Pakistan. Ex Indian player and two time Member of Parliament Chetan Chauhan too vented out his anger against the neighbouring country stating India should cut all ties with them.
"Why only cricket, India should stop all contact with Pakistan till it stops harbouring terrorists - be it sports, films or anything else,” he said.This is not the first time that cricket between the two countries is suffering due to the sour diplomatic relations.
The ICC World Twenty 20 in March-April this year saw India lock horns with Pakistan in a group game. The match was scheduled to held at Dharamshala but then it was later shifted to Kolkata as the Himachal Pradesh government did not want to provide adequate security to the players. Ganguly had then played a key role as the president of the Cricket Association of Bengal to stage the high-voltage encounter where India came out on top.
Last time the two teams played a bilateral series was in 2012-13, when Pakistan visited India for three One-Day International and two Twenty20 International. Also because of constant security threat Pakistan are currently playing their home matches in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).