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BCCI targeting Pakistan’s removal from World Cup

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is pulling together a proposal for Pakistan to be removed from the 2019 World Cup, according to multiple reports.

The ESPN Cricinfo website said a letter to the International Cricket Council has been drafted and will be discussed at a high-level BCCI meeting tomorrow (Friday) before being taken up with the Indian government.

It is said to argue that Pakistan should be banned from the World Cup as the country is allegedly supporting terrorist activities in India. Historic tensions between the two countries have escalated further in the wake of a recent terrorist attack in the Indian region of Kashmir.

ESPNcricinfo said the letter has only failed to reach the ICC already due to the reservations of Diana Edulji, former captain of India’s women’s team and a member of the BCCI’s Committee of Administrators (COA).

Edulji said today (Thursday) that all stakeholders will be consulted, including the government: “We will discuss the procedures to be followed and the way forward. We will consult the ministry of external affairs, ministry of home affairs and the sports ministry. We will also look at how things have been done in the past.”

Cricket meetings between India and Pakistan have long represented one of sport’s fiercest rivalries and the two teams have been drawn to meet each other in the group stages of this year’s World Cup in England and Wales. Indeed, the game at Old Trafford, Manchester on June 16 was said to have received close to 500,000 applications in the ticket ballot process, more than twice the number that applied for the final itself.

The Press Trust of India news agency today reported that senior BCCI sources believe the chances of the ICC removing Pakistan are slim to non-existent, with such a proposal likely to have further repercussions for cricket’s most powerful governing body.

A ‘top BCCI source’ told PTI: “In case India writes to ICC for Pakistan’s removal, then we have to build consensus first to move a resolution at its Annual Board Meeting in April. We no longer enjoy majority in the ICC board right now. If this goes for (a) floor test we are certain to lose.

“Not only that, serious doubts will emerge on our chances to host the 2021 Champions Trophy and 2023 World Cup.”

Last week’s terror attack has already had implications for the business sphere. The Pakistan Cricket Board on Tuesday named the Blitz and Trans Group consortium as the new live production partner of this year’s Pakistan Super League after the IMG-Reliance agency withdrew from its deal for the Twenty20 competition.

IMG-Reliance, an Indian company, backed out of its agreement on Sunday in the wake of the terrorist attack.