Stepping up the offensive against Pakistan in the wake of the deadly Pulwama terror attack, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has written a letter to the International Cricket Council (ICC), asking it to oust Pakistan from the upcoming 2019 Cricket World Cup in England and Wales.
IndiaTV has learnt that BCCI has sent an email to the ICC, requesting to remove Pakistan from the World Cup as it has continued to harbour terrorists in its own backyard and has provided support to terrorism against India.
Forty CRPF personnel were killed last week in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district when a Jaish-e-Mohammed suicide bomber rammed his explosive-laden vehicle into the bus on which the CRPF jawans were travelling.
The BCCI has categorically stated in its letter that the mood in the nation is against playing Pakistan and India would not compromise when it comes to terrorism.
The recent move from the BCCI comes a day after Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan's statement where he failed to condemn the Pulwama terror attack.
The Cricket World Cup begins on May 30 in England. India is scheduled to play Pakistan in Manchester on June 16.
Former India cricketer Sourav Ganguly also condemned the attack and said that India should cut all ties with Pakistan and send them a strong reply.
"Whatever happened in Pulwama last week was really sad...it is the worst possible thing that could ever happen. And, whatever reactions came from the people of India...was right. There is no chance of a bilateral series with Pakistan after this incident.
"I can also understand the sentiments of people asking India not to play Pakistan in the World Cup and I feel the government should take strong action on this issue. The aftereffect of this should be strong from India," Ganguly said on IndiaTV's "Cricket Ki Baat" show.
"I agree that after this attack, India should not only stop playing cricket, hockey or football with Pakistan but should cut all ties with them," Ganguly added.
Ganguly's reaction comes after former cricketers, citizens and officials cried out loud that India should boycott Pakistan in the upcoming World Cup and not play them in England and Wales.
The 46-year-old also weighed in on the issue. "India should stop relations with Pakistan and we need to send a strong message to them. We should take strong action from every angle by the government and we should do this by taking into consideration the sentiments of the nation," Ganguly said in IndiaTV's "Cricket Ki Baat" show.
"I don't think anything is left in BCCI after the Supreme Court situation. There are no office bearers left to take a decision but I feel that BCCI should take a strong decision on the issue and send a strong no-nonsense message," Ganguly added when asked if the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) should take an action against the issue.
"This is a 10-team World Cup and every team plays every team and I feel if India doesn't play a match in the World Cup, it won't be an issue," Ganguly said.
Earlier, ICC CEO Dave Richardson had said on Tuesday that all matches will go ahead as scheduled in the 2019 World Cup and they are keenly following the matter.
"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 ghastly terror attack in which 40 CRPF personnel were martyred.
"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 in a statement to PTI.
"Sport, in particular, cricket, has the wonderful ability to bring people together and unite communities and we will work with our Members on that basis," he added.
Following Richardson's comments, a top official of the BCCI on Wednesday said that the World Cup 2019 match between India vs Pakistan will not take place if the Indian government is against it.
The official, however, cautioned that if India does not play against Pakistan in the tournament then the latter will get the points despite the match not taking place. It was further clarified by the official that the Indian board has not approached the International Cricket Council (ICC) over the matter.
"The situation with regard to the World Cup can only become clear after some time that is a little closer to the World Cup. ICC has nothing to do with it. If the government, at that point of time, feels that we should not play then we should not play. It is obvious that we won't play but result for that would be that Pakistan will get the points for the match and if it is the final match then without playing, Pakistan will win the cup," the BCCI official told ANI.
The whole issue of throwing Pakistan out of the World Cup has intensified over the last couple of days after the outrage on social media following the attack last week.
Along with the nation, cricket bodies across India have pulled down photos and any memorabilia associated with Pakistan from the stadiums as they strongly condemn the action carried out in Pulwama.