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Indian Sports Minister Advises Against India’s Participation in Champions Trophy 2025 in Pakistan

India’s Minister of Sports, Youth Affairs, and Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Anurag Thakur, who is also the former Chief of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), has reiterated India’s stance of not sending the Indian cricket team to Pakistan for the 2025 ICC Champions Trophy. In a recent media briefing, he made it clear that India will uphold this decision, citing Pakistan’s alleged involvement in propagating terrorism in the South Asian region.

Thakur, drawing from his past tenure as the head of BCCI, emphasized the incongruity of engaging in cricketing activities with a country accused of fostering terrorism. He stated, “Two things cannot go together: spreading terrorism in India and playing cricket. Prioritize ending terrorism in your own country, and then discussions about cricket can follow.”

He underscored the firm stance that the Indian cricket team should abstain from playing in Pakistan under any circumstances. Instead, he suggested the BCCI should explore negotiations with the ICC for a hybrid hosting model, similar to previous instances.

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Reflecting on past events, Thakur pointed out the challenges faced during the Asia Cup co-hosted by Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Due to India’s refusal to play in Pakistan, matches had to be relocated to an alternate venue. Consequently, India played its matches in Sri Lanka, while Pakistan endured the logistical strain of traveling back and forth between their home country and Sri Lanka, leading to player fatigue.

With India gearing up for general elections this year, it’s anticipated that political rhetoric against Pakistan will continue. However, Thakur’s remarks highlight the unfortunate impact of such political stands on the world of sports, ultimately jeopardizing the spirit of competition.

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