India has the right to pull out against Pakistan in World Cup 2019, feels Shoaib Akhtar
What's the story?
Former Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Akhtar has condemned the dastardly attacks that took place on India's security forces in Pulwama, in which 44 personnel of the CRPF lost their lives. Akhtar further said that it would be justified if India forfeited their match against Pakistan in the upcoming World Cup 2019.
In case you didn't know...
The Pulwama attack occurred in Pulwama, Kashmir on 14th February after a truck car loaded with nearly 350 kilograms of explosive material crashed into a convoy of CRPF men that was passing through the area.
With cross-border relations tensing up in the aftermath of the attack, many former cricketers like Harbhajan Singh have vehemently spoken against the idea of India playing Pakistan in the World Cup.
There are rumours that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has already drafted a letter for submission to the ICC (International Cricket Council) regarding the proposed forfeiture.
The heart of the matter
Shoaib Akhtar has come out to say that he stands by the statement of the Pakistan Prime Minister, but that the attack was totally unjustified.
Speaking to a Pakistan news channel, Akhtar said, "Should sports stay political? Not at all. So these differences set in matters of circumstances. We strongly condemn the loss of lives. But when it comes to our country, we are one nation, united and we will stand by our Prime Minister’s statement without having a second thought."
Akhtar further stated that India has every right to pull out of proposed matches against Pakistan.
"They (India) have a right to pull out. Their country was attacked and hence the decision. You cannot argue on that."
With the BCCI seemingly intent on stopping cricket relations with Pakistan, it remains to be seen how the upcoming India vs Pakistan group stage match scheduled for 16th June will be dealt with. It is up to the ICC to decide on the appropriate course of action that would be in line with the current political situation.