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Front foot please

Since the T20 tournament has been organized by the International Cricket Council, a withdrawal from any tie would mean going back on an international commitment

Ideally, politics should be kept out of sports, but our troubled relations with Pakistan complicate almost all forms of engagement. A World Cup, though, is a multilateral event in which India must participate

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Even as palms are being rubbed in anticipation of an India-Pakistan cricket clash at the T20 World Cup contest in Dubai on Sunday, a showdown has taken place off the field. Politicians are piling pressure on the Indian government to call off the match in protest against a string of terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir. The Aam Aadmi Party, Punjab minister and former hockey captain Pargat Singh, and even Giriraj Singh of India’s ruling party are among them.

Even as palms are being rubbed in anticipation of an India-Pakistan cricket clash at the T20 World Cup contest in Dubai on Sunday, a showdown has taken place off the field. Politicians are piling pressure on the Indian government to call off the match in protest against a string of terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir. The Aam Aadmi Party, Punjab minister and former hockey captain Pargat Singh, and even Giriraj Singh of India’s ruling party are among them.

Emotions do run high when our civilians are killed, and soldiers lay down their lives in defence of the nation from Pakistan-sponsored terrorists. But our cricket board’s stance is well reasoned. It has not given the go-ahead for a bilateral series, as has been the case for some years. But since the T20 tournament has been organized by the International Cricket Council, a withdrawal from any tie would mean going back on an international commitment. Ideally, politics should be kept out of sports, but our troubled relations with Pakistan complicate almost all forms of engagement. A World Cup, though, is a multilateral event in which India must participate. There’s no need for decision-makers to be on the back-foot over this.

Emotions do run high when our civilians are killed, and soldiers lay down their lives in defence of the nation from Pakistan-sponsored terrorists. But our cricket board’s stance is well reasoned. It has not given the go-ahead for a bilateral series, as has been the case for some years. But since the T20 tournament has been organized by the International Cricket Council, a withdrawal from any tie would mean going back on an international commitment. Ideally, politics should be kept out of sports, but our troubled relations with Pakistan complicate almost all forms of engagement. A World Cup, though, is a multilateral event in which India must participate. There’s no need for decision-makers to be on the back-foot over this.

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