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Upping the ante on India's push to isolate Pakistan, the Supreme Court-constituted Committee of Administrators (CoA) chief Vinod Rai on Sunday said the sporting community "needs to ostracise Pakistan" for fomenting terror activities just like South African was banned from international cricket due to the country's apartheid policy.
Rai's observation comes a couple of days after the CoA decided not to take a stand on the possibility of boycotting India's June 16 World Cup group match against Pakistan. The CoA, which is running Indian cricket, on Friday urged the International Cricket Council (ICC) members to "sever ties with any nation that is a terrorist hub".
Hours after the CoA meeting, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) wrote to the ICC expressing their reservations about playing Pakistan in the World Cup.
There has been a call to boycott the June 16 World Cup face-off against Pakistan at the Old Trafford in the aftermath of the Pulwama terror attack. At least 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel were killed in the attack.
Rai, who previously served as the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, said "We would be shooting in the foot if we don't play Pakistan in the World Cup. Our aim should be to ostracise Pakistan as a cricketing nation."
"As I have said earlier, all cricketing nations should sever ties with them," Rai told PTI.
He cited the example of South Africa, which was banned for 21 years from 1970 till 1991 due to the apartheid when black South Africans were racially discriminated against.
"I believe something similar needs to be done with Pakistan. They should be banned from all sporting activities just like it happened with South Africa," Rai said.
The CoA chief also said that the matter will be officially tabled at the ICC chief executives meet during the quarterly conference in Dubai.
The issue wasn't a part of the agenda but now that BCCI has officially written a letter, and the matter will be up for discussion.
"The matter will be officially tabled at the ICC chief executives meet and Indian board will express its concern," he said.
When asked whether a consensus can be built in order to isolate Pakistan in the sporting world, the veteran bureaucrat said that it is done at the political level.
"It is done at the government level where you talk to other nations in order to build consensus," he said.
Opinions have been divided on the calls for boycott with former India captain Sourav Ganguly and senior off-spinner Harbhajan Singh wanting the June 16 match to be called off.
However, they haven't clarified what happens if Pakistan make it to the semifinals or the final.
On the other hand, the two of the biggest names in Indian cricket, Sachin Tendulkar and Sunil Gavaskar, want India to beat Pakistan as a walkover will mean giving two points on a platter to the arch-rivals.
Skipper Virat Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri have maintained that they will "abide by whatever decision the government takes."
(With PTI inputs)
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