Harbhajan Singh calls for India to boycott cricket World Cup match against Pakistan

Harbhajan Singh wants to see cricket respond to last week's terror attack in Kashmir. (AFP)
Updated 19 February 2019
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Harbhajan Singh calls for India to boycott cricket World Cup match against Pakistan

  • Indian spin king has pleaded for the national team to pull out of its World Cup clash against Pakistan in the summer.
  • The call follows a Kashmir attack which left more than 40 paramilitaries dead.

DELHI: Spin star Harbhajan Singh has called for India to boycott their World Cup game against Pakistan in June in protest at a Kashmir attack which left more than 40 paramilitaries dead.
India has accused its neighbor of supporting the attack, and amid nationwide calls for reprisals, Singh said: “There is no need for any relations with Pakistan, let alone cricket.
“Don’t play the World Cup match with Pakistan on June 16 — country comes first for all of us and we are all standing with our forces,” added BHajji, who played his last Test in 2015 but is still an Indian Premier League regular.
“Pakistan has been promoting cross-border terrorism and this attack was unbelievably shocking,” said Singh, whose 417 Test wickets are the second highest for an off-spinner. Pakistan has denied any role in the attack.
India, one of the World Cup favorites, would at the very least forfeit the match points if they boycott the group game to be played in Manchester. But Singh said this would not matter.
“I don’t care about losing points as the Indian team is powerful enough to win the World Cup without playing Pakistan,” Singh told the Aaj Tak Hindi news channel.
The boycott call has also been taken up by the secretary of the prestigious Cricket Club of India.
“CCI is a sporting association but nation comes first,” said Suresh Bafna as he condemned the attack in which a suicide bomber hit a military convoy in Kashmir last Thursday.


Saudi Arabia’s Young Falcons go down to France in opening U-20 World Cup match

Updated 25 May 2019
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Saudi Arabia’s Young Falcons go down to France in opening U-20 World Cup match

  • Saudi Arabia’s next game in the tournament is against Mali on Tuesday
  • The U-20 Green Falcons are making their ninth appearance at the event

GDYNIA, Poland: Saudi Arabia’s U-20 World Cup campaign got off to a faltering start on Saturday as the young Green Falcons lost 2-0 to France at the Stadion GOSiR in Gdynia, Poland.
Khaled Al-Atwi’s young guns made the worst possible start as they went down to ten men when Faraj Al-Ghashayan was given his marching orders after just 12 minutes.
However, France labored for their first goal as the Green Falcons stayed resolute in defense. But with two minutes of the first period remaining Strasbourg player Youssouf Fofana, who had come on for the injured Boubakary Soumare midway through the first half, found the net to break the deadlock.
The man advantage was clear for all to see in the second half as Saudi Arabia struggled to make an impact on the match. And France extended their advantage with fifteen minutes left when Lyon’s Amine Gouiri scored to take the game away from Al-Atwi’s side.
Saudi Arabia’s next game in the tournament is against Mali on Tuesday. The African side opened their tournament with a 1-1 draw against Saudi Arabia's other Group E opponents Panama.
The U-20 Green Falcons are making their ninth appearance at the World Cup. In 2017’s edition in South Korea, they were knocked out at the Round of 16 stage by Uruguay, while the Kingdom hosted the event in 1989.