India can win the World Cup without playing Pakistan, says Harbhajan Singh
Reacting to the dastardly attack on the Indian security forces in Pulwama on the 14th February in which 44 personnel of the CRPF were killed, former Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh has stated that India should not play against Pakistan in the upcoming World Cup in England.
Harbhajan also added that India were good enough to win the World Cup even if they forfeit the match against Pakistan. India is scheduled to play Pakistan on the 16th of June in Manchester. India risks the possibility of losing out on two points if they are to forfeit the match.
Indians are chasing their third World Cup title in the ODI format and are considered as one of the favorites to lift the trophy. India has not played against Pakistan in a bilateral series since 2012-13.
Speaking to Aaj Tak, Harbhajan said "India should not play Pakistan in the World Cup. India are powerful enough to win the World Cup without having to play Pakistan. This is a difficult time. The attack that has happened, it was unbelievable and it's very wrong. Strict action will surely be taken by the government.”
He also added that “I don't think we need to have any relations with Pakistan or play any cricket with them. I don't think India should play the World Cup match against Pakistan. Country comes first and we are all standing behind our country. Cricket or hockey or sports, it should be kept aside because this is a huge thing and repeatedly our soldiers are killed. We should stand with our country. Cricket or hockey or any sport, we don't need to play with them."
India can afford to forfeit their game against Pakistan in the league stage and still qualify for the semi-finals but the bigger question is what happens if the two teams face off in the semi-finals or the final? To this, Harbhajan replied, “There's plenty of time for June-July. The people in power will need what to do. But nobody can harm India. What happened in Pulwama is tragic. We are safe today only because of our defense forces."