The ICC and the 2019 World Cup organizing committee remain confident that the tournament’s biggest match, to be played between India and Pakistan on June 16 in Manchester, will go ahead despite the volatile situation between the two countries in the wake of a terrorist attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district last week.
The ICC’s outgoing chief executive officer Dave Richardson, on Tuesday, said there is no such indication as of now that the match will be cancelled, adding that he doesn’t foresee any change in the schedule.
“Our thoughts are with everyone who has been affected by this terrible incident and we will be monitoring the situation with our Members,” Richardson said, offering his condolences on the terror attack in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed.
“There is no indication that any (of the) matches at the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup will not go ahead as planned,” Richardson said.
“Sport, and cricket, in particular, is perfectly placed – it has the wonderful ability to bring people together to unite communities. And hopefully, cricket can be used in this fashion rather than a way of (dividing) people,” he added.
For Steve Elworthy, the World Cup tournament director, the India-Pakistan contest will be a marquee occasion.
“It is probably one of the biggest sporting events in the world,” Elworthy, the former South Africa fast bowler, said. “You think of that match and you think of the passion, the support, the audience, the (number of) people who applied for tickets.”
Even the men who mattered in BCCI said that not playing Pakistan in the World Cup is a ‘long shot’ as of now.
“For the record, India played Pakistan in a World Cup game in England in 1999 edition when Kargil War was at its peak,” a senior BCCI official was quoted as saying.