Former India captain Sourav Ganguly has opined that it is near impossible for India to influence the International Cricket Council (ICC) to impose a ban on Pakistan from the World Cup or from international cricket.
Following the terrorist attack by Jaish-e-Mohammed in Jammu & Kashmir's Pulwama district, where 40 CRPF jawans were killed, chorus of boycotting Pakistan in England has gotten louder.
Former and current cricketers have expressed varied opinions on severing cricketing ties with Pakistan.
While some are of the opinion that India should not play Pakistan in Manchester on June 16, some feel that the game should go on and India should trounce their rivals.
Reacting to reports that the Indian government might push for a complete ban on Pakistan from the mega event, Ganguly said there is even less than one per cent chance of that happening.
"The government has already defined the terms as far as bilateral series between India and Pakistan is concerned. India and Pakistan don't play bilateral series... the last bilateral series was played in 2006. However, I doubt the prospects of banning Pakistan from World Cup or international cricket. It is a big thing," Ganguly told IndiaTV.
"The ICC is a separate institution, World Cup is a separate institution and I feel it is very difficult to implement this here. This is my personal view that banning Pakistan from World Cup or international cricket won't be possible. World Cup is still far away and we will see what happens then. But in my opinion, it will be very difficult for India or the Indian government to go to ICC and ask for a ban on Pakistan from World Cup or international cricket. There's less than even one per cent chance of this happening," he added.
The 46-year-old said that severing bilateral cricket with a particular nation can be done but it will be very difficult for to influence the ICC to ban Pakistan from a world event.
"You can boycott a particular country in bilateral series but it won't be easy do the same in World Cup or international cricket. I can't say on whether India will be able to influence the ICC to ban Pakistan from World Cup as it's a very difficult thing to do. You just saw how the International Olympic Committee reacted when India denied visas to Pakistani shooters [participating in the ISSF World Cup in Delhi]. So, it's not an easy task," Ganguly said.
The denial of visas to Pakistani shooters in the Delhi World Cup jeopardised India's chances of hosting the Olympics or any global event with the IOC suspending all such discussions with the country and recommending that no big tournament be awarded to it.
Exclusive | No scope of cricket left with Pakistan after Pulwama attack, all ties need to be cut: Sourav Ganguly
We stand by what the nation and the BCCI want to do, says Virat Kohli on boycotting Pakistan in the World Cup 2019
Ganguly had earlier backed a complete boycott of cricketing ties with Pakistan, saying not playing the arch-rivals in the upcoming World Cup won't have much of an impact on the Indian team's campaign at the mega event in May-July.
Days later, Sachin Tendulkar said he would 'hate' to give away two points to Pakistan by not playing in the World Cup and India should rather beat them again in the showpiece event to maintain their unbeaten record over the arch-rivals.
Last week, the Supreme Court-appointed Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) Committee of Administrators (CoA) said that they are in talks with the Indian government regarding the boycott of the 2019 World Cup clash between India and Pakistan.
Vinod Rai, the chief of CoA, said the ultimate decision lies with the government of the India but added that it would individually urge ICC members to "sever ties with any nation that is a terrorist hub".
India captain Virat Kohli on Saturday said that his team will "respect the decision of the government" with regards to playing Pakistan in the upcoming World Cup.
"Our stand is simple. We stick by what the nation wants to do and what the BCCI decides to do and that is basically our opinion," skipper Kohli said.
(With agency inputs)