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Thatscricket - News - Indo-Pak cricket only after normalisation of ties: Bharti

Published: Thursday, August 23, 2001, 23:53 [IST]
 
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[an error occurred while processing this directive]New Delhi: Cricketing ties with Pakistan will not be resumed unless Indo-Pak relations are normalised and Pakistan stopped its support to cross-border terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir, Sports Minister Uma Bharti said on Wednesday.Defending the government's decision to not allow its team to go to Pakistan to play in Asian Test Championships, Bharti told a TV news channel there were several considerations that shaped the decision."First and foremost we are concerned about the security of the players. Relations between the countries will become more bitter if any of our players are mistreated there."Also, a game of cricket between India and pakistan generates war-like frenzy," she said. In this context she quoted Imran Khan who had once remarked that playing against india was like fighting a jihad (holy war).She said cricket was a gentleman's game and the purpose was to let it remain one. "Sports should encourage friendship and not become a source for generating anger and ill-will," Bharti said.The minister also categorically ruled out India's participation in cricket matches at any of the irregular venues including Sharjah and Toronto."The matches are played here only because of commercial considerations. We want to retain the basic spirit of the game and not kill it by over-commercialisation," she said. PTI

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