As India and Pakistan are getting ready to face each other in Asia Cup 2018, Gautam Gambhir came up with a big statement. Things aren't well between the two countries and that is the reason they haven't played a single bilateral series after their limited-over 2012-13 series.
However, the two countries have faced each other in major events like the World Cup and Asia Cup meets.
As per Gambhir, India should completely boycott cricket with Pakistan even in the multinational tournaments. The ban should not be conditional. “If you want to ban someone from playing, you should ban them from playing every form of cricket, whether it’s Asia Cup or ICC events. You can’t have conditional bans in sports. You can’t say we won’t play bilateral series but we can’t do anything about ICC events and Asia Cup," said the Indian batsman to The Times of India.
Gambhir wants India to take a stand. Either keep a distance from their arch-rivals completely or play with them in bilateral series as well.
“If you want to play Pakistan in Asia Cup, why don’t you play bilateral series as well? If you don’t want to play Pakistan in bilateral series, then don’t play them in Asia Cup and in ICC events either. That is a decision that the BCCI and the Government need to take.”
Gambhir is eager for the India vs Pakistan clash. However, it's not because the men in blue are playing against Pakistan. He doesn't get too emotional because of a certain opponent. “From the game’s point of view I am looking forward to it, but I don’t get too emotional about the fact that it’s a match vs Pakistan. Ultimately, it’s a game of cricket that India wants to win. Whether it’s UAE, Pakistan or Sri Lanka. It’s another game of cricket.”
“People do think it’s a big thing, India playing Pakistan because we don’t play them often and there are a lot of emotions involved in it, but as a sportsman, you don’t go into the game thinking it’s Pakistan, so we have to beat them,” said Gambhir. “You want to beat every opposition possible because it’s a matter of pride for your country.”
“I think it will be a good game because Pakistan is a decent side,” Gambhir added.