Seasoned campaigner Jhulan Goswami on Wednesday made it clear that the Board of Control for Cricket in India will take the final call on whether the Indian women’s team will play Pakistan in a bilateral series as a part of the International Cricket Council’s Women’s Championship.
The tournament is used to determine qualification for the 2021 Women’s One-Day International World Cup, and teams get points for each match. But with political tensions between in the two countries simmering in the aftermath of one of the deadliest terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir, in which 44 Central Reserve Police Force jawans were killed by a Jaish-e-Mohammed suicide bomber in Pulwama on February 14, it is highly unlikely that India and Pakistan will engage in a bilateral series.
Amid calls for a boycott of the match against Pakistan at the men’s World Cup at Old Trafford in June, the BCCI stated that it has it to the “central government to decide.”
According to the current ICC schedule, India has not been slotted to play Pakistan, but a series is likely to feature in the next itinerary.
“That BCCI will decide. We don’t know what will happen against Pakistan and I cannot comment on that,” Goswami said on the eve of India’s third ODI against England. “But all the matches are important for us, and whenever we play, we must play positive and good cricket and try to do things in the right way.”
If India refuses to play the series, it will lose six points, which will be directly added to Pakistan’s tally.
According to ICC rules, host New Zealand along with the top four teams in the table receive direct qualification for the World Cup. In case New Zealand is among the top four, then the fifth placed team goes in. The remaining teams have to compete among themselves in a playoffs tournament.
In 2017, India lost points for similar reasons and had to make it to the World Cup via the playoffs, which India won by defeating South Africa in the final by one wicket in Colombo.
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