Do not allow Pak cricketers, artists in India: Former hockey players
Former Indian players today not only backed Hockey India's decision to send back Pakistanis but also advocated more stringent action even as players from across the border urged that the upcoming bilateral series should not be derailed due to the ongoing conflict.
HI barred all nine Pakistani players from participating in the Hockey India League and sent them back to their country as protests grew against Pakistan's ceasefire violation at the Line of Control.
Pakistani troops killed two Indian soldiers and decapitated one of them recently, an act described as 'dastardly' by the Indian Prime Minister.
Ashok Kumar, member of 1975 world cup winning team, said ideally sports and politics should not mix but this is the time to come up with such a tough response.
"I think this is extremely right decision. Players are also human beings and citizen of this country. I agree that sports should be kept away from this but now all the limits have been crossed," Kumar said.
"We must give a strong message to Pakistan that we dont want any people to people contact with them. It can be done by not allowing their artists and sportpersons to perform or play in the India," he said.
Another Olympian and Arjun awardee, former Indian player Mukesh Kumar suggested that Pakistani cricket commentators Ramiz Raza and Wasim Akram should also be sent back.
The two former cricketers are part of the commentary panel for the ongoing One-day series between India and England.
"I think Hockey India took a right decision to send back Pakistani players. There was no point in inviting troubles for the league. But my question is that what Pakistani players Ramiz Raza and Wasim Akram are doing in India. How come they are allowed to do commentary for the cricket series. They should also be sent back," he said.