The cricketing rivalry between India and Pakistan is legendary. The two nations have been arch-rivals on the cricket field for so long, and whenever they meet, it’s not just a game but a high-stakes battle. The thrill and tension surrounding an India-Pakistan encounter are like no other, making it one of the most anticipated fixtures in world cricket.
As the two teams now gear up to face off against each other at the ODI World Cup 2023, the environment is once again heated up with mixed emotions among fans. While many expressed excitement, many also called for a boycott of the match.
The diplomatic standoff
It’s essential to acknowledge that India and Pakistan have not played a bilateral series since 2013, and their encounters are now limited to ICC events. But the wait of the cricket enthusiasts is now over as the return of the ODI World Cup to India after 13 years promises a riveting match between these cricketing giants on Indian soil after a long gap of 13 years.
The most recent clash of the neighbouring countries was at the Asia Cup 2023, where the two sides met twice, with India winning one match and the other ending in a frustrating washout due to rain.
BCCI extends a warm welcome to Pakistan cricketers
The Indian cricket management extended a warm welcome to the Pakistan cricket team upon their arrival, emphasizing the spirit of sportsmanship and camaraderie. However, this gracious reception hasn’t been universally accepted by some Indian citizens, who are calling for a boycott of the event.
The reason behind boycott calls
The demand for a boycott of India-Pakistan matches is not a new phenomenon in India. It has been a recurring concern for Indian citizens, fueled by the tragic loss of Indian soldiers in cross-border violations along the Indo-Pak borders.
The latest wave of calls for a boycott saw fans alleging that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is ignoring Pakistan’s involvement in terror-funded activities in the Kashmir Valley. Notably, a recent terror attack in Anantnag claimed the lives of Colonel Manpreet Singh, Major Aashish Dhonchak, and Deputy Superintendent of Jammu and Kashmir Police Humayun Bhat and fuelled fury across India.
Also READ: Former India all-rounder Yuvraj Singh gives candid opinion on the India vs Pakistan showdown
Controversial pre-match music ceremony decision of BCCI
Adding to the controversy, the BCCI’s decision to organize a pre-match musical show featuring renowned artists like Sukhwinder Singh, Shankar Mahadevan, and Arijit Singh has only intensified the anger of fans.
Here are some of the reactions of fans:
Let’s use #BoycottIndoPakMatch and make a difference for once. BCCI is too blinded by money and government too is incompetent (like it or not). In the end, it’s the common man as always who is responsible for defending his and country’s reputation. #ShameOnBCCI pic.twitter.com/NhQyAuT5wk
— Memes Of Bharat 🇮🇳 (@MemesOfBharat) October 13, 2023
How Can Do it this BCCI
Very Gritty For Indian 😡
What BCCI and Jay Shah have done in the honor of Pakistan team will not be tolerated at all.
Our soldiers are fighting bravely against Pakistan supported terrorists on the border.
— Shubham Sharma (@ishubham_jangid) October 13, 2023
I am not against the Cricket
I am against the Cricket with Pakistan
I don’t hate kohli
I hate his giggles with Pakistanis
Let us come together and Boycott the match against Pakistan
If the government can’t do , we citizens can do #BoycottIndoPakMatch
— Major Pawan Kumar, Shaurya Chakra (Retd) 🇮🇳 (@major_pawan) October 6, 2023
— Atul °Kushwaha🇮🇳 (@RealAtulsay) October 13, 2023
#BoycottIndoPakMatch #boycottindopakmatch Don’t make money in the name of cricket and betray our soldiers martyred protecting us from pak sponsored terrorists.
Shame on… Is it only the army that has enmity with Pakistan? pic.twitter.com/TpecZ3yahZ
— sonu swami (@real_sonuswami) October 13, 2023
Why should there be any match with Pak when they kill our army and abuse them
It’s not only the soldier’s duty to fight & we enjoy cricket with them
Each & every event with them should’ve been dismissed
— Devyani Joshi (@devyani21) October 13, 2023