New Delhi: Cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar Friday said he would "hate" to see India concede two points to Pakistan by not playing them in the upcoming World Cup as such a move would only help the arch-rivals in the mega-event.
Tendulkar endorsed Sunil Gavaskar's view that India would be better off beating Pakistan in the World Cup than forfeiting the June 16 tie in the wake of the Pulwama terror attack that killed more than 40 CRPF personnel.
"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," said Tendulkar in a statement to PTI.
"Having said that, for me India always comes first, so whatever my country decides, I will back that decision with all my heart," the legendary batsman added.
While the likes of Harbhajan Singh and Yuzvendra Chahal have called for complete cricketing boycott of Pakistan, Gavaskar on Thursday said India will be the loser if they decide to not play against Pakistan on June 16.
"Who wins if India decide against playing Pakistan in the World Cup? And I am not even talking about the semis and the finals. Who wins? Pakistan win because they get two points," Gavaskar had said.
"India have so far beaten Pakistan every time in a World Cup, so we are actually conceding two points when by beating Pakistan, we could make sure that they don't advance in the competition," he had said.
The World Cup begins in the United Kingdom on May 30. On Friday, the Committee of Administrators running Indian cricket decided against taking any position on the matter for now.
Amid calls for India to boycott its June 16 cricket World Cup clash against Pakistan in the wake of the Pulwama terror attack, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Friday said forfeiting the match would not just cost two points but also be "worse than surrender".
Tharoor, in a tweet, said the government did not even declare national mourning following the Pulwama attack and wants to cancel a match three months from now.
"Reminder: at the height of the 1999 Kargil War, India played Pakistan in the cricket World Cup, & won. To forfeit the match this year would not just cost two points: it would be worse than surrender, since it would be defeat without a fight," the senior Congress leader said.
"Our government did not even declare national mourning wants to cancel a match 3 months from now? Is that a serious response to 40 lives taken in cold blood? BJP wants to divert attention from its own fecklessness and inept handling of the crisis. We need effective action, not gesture politics," the MP from Thiruvananthapuram added.
Asked about Tharoor's remarks, Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said there should be no cricketing ties till terrorism being encouraged from Pakistani soil doesn't stop. "India needs to adopt a strong stance against terrorism and in that strong stance cricket is included," he said.
The Committee of Administrators (CoA) running Indian cricket Friday decided against taking any stand on the World Cup clash against Pakistan but said it would individually urge ICC members to "sever ties with any nation that is a terrorist hub".
There has been a call to boycott the June 16 World Cup face-off against Pakistan at the Old Trafford in the aftermath of the Pulwama terror attack, which killed more than 40 CRPF personnel. In a meeting to address the spiralling speculation around the match, the CoA deliberated on the matter but did not take any position for now.