Virat Kohli has finally opened up about the discussion regarding India boycotting the match against Pakistan in the World Cup and the Indian captain has said that the team will follow whatever the BCCI decides based on what the nation wants.
Although Kohli had tweeted about the incident in its aftermath, this is the first time he has given a statement to the media. Speaking to the press as a part of the pre-match protocol ahead of the first T20I against Australia, Kohli extended his "sincere condolences" at the outset.
"Firstly, all our sincere condolences to the families of the soldiers who lost their lives. From the Indian team and the whole setup, we are really shocked about what happened and really sad about the incident that happened," Kohli said.
The captain then went on to clear the team's stand on whether the match against Pakistan at the World Cup will go ahead. He said that the team will respect and stand by whatever the nation wants the BCCI decides.
"Our stand is simple, we stick by what the nation wants to do and what the BCCI decides to do. That is basically our opinion. Whatever the government and the board decide eventually, we will go by that and respect that. So that is our stand on this particular matter," Kohli concluded.
The dastardly terrorist attack took place around 3:15 pm on February 14 when an explosive-laden SUV rammed into a bus carrying CRPF troopers. This incident claimed the lives of at least 40 CRPF jawans and the nation has since then been asking for a backlash. There has been a cry of boycotting the match against Pakistan in the World Cup. Kohli's statement of standing by the BCCI's decision comes with regards to this very narrative.
Many former cricketers have made their opinions clear on this matter with the likes of Sourav Ganguly and Harbhajan Singh asking India to cut all cricketing ties with the neighbouring country and also boycott the Pakistan match in the upcoming quadrennial event. But Sachin Tendulkar differs slightly in his opinion and has said that he would "hate" to concede the two points to Pakistan by not playing the match.
"India has always come up trumps against Pakistan in the World Cup. Time to beat them once again. Would personally hate to give them two points and help them in the tournament," Tendulkar said in a tweet. India has come up against Pakistan in the 50-over World Cup six times and has won on all six occasions. In the same tweet, Tendulkar added, "Having said that, for me India comes first, so whatever my country decides, I will back that decision with all my heart."
Till a decision is reached, India is scheduled to play Pakistan on June 16 in Old Trafford, Manchester.