India stand to lose by boycotting Pakistan in the upcoming World Cup, feels former captain Sunil Gavaskar, who said the country can continue to “hurt them” by shunning bilateral ties.
Led by former India spinner Harbhajan Singh, calls for a complete cricketing boycott against Pakistan has grown ever since the terror attack in Pulwama last week killed more than 40 CRPF personnel. India are scheduled to play Pakistan on June 16 during the 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.
“(But) I am with the country, whatever the government decides, I am with it totally. If the country wants we shouldn’t play Pakistan, I am with them,” he added.
“Where does it hurt Pakistan? It hurts them when they don’t play a bilateral series against India. In a multi-team event, India will lose by not playing them. The entire matter needs to be looked at with a little more depth, I can understand emotions are running high.
“Sure all of us are absolutely down with what has happened, it is such a tragedy but I am not too sure this would work with the ICC. The other counties will say that this is an internal matter between the two countries and they have to deal with it and not involve us.”
Gavaskar urged Khan to take the necessary “first step” towards improving ties with India.
“Let me speak directly to Imran Khan, someone who I have admired so much, who I think is a friend. Let me say to Imran ‘when you took over you said that it is going to be a new Pakistan’.