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India vs Pakistan: Sharad Pawar hits out at critics for slamming Sachin Tendulkar

first_imgNationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar on Saturday said those who are slamming cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar for saying India should not boycott the match with Pakistan in the coming World Cup must remember that he started his career by beating the arch-rivals.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 on February 14 that killed at least 40 CRPF personnel. Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad claimed responsibility for the attack.Addressing a joint rally of Congress and NCP at Parli in Beed district of Maharashtra, Pawar, a former president of International Cricket Council as well as BCCI, said Tendulkar is a “Bharat Ratna” and Sunil Gavaskar is another cricket icon who brought laurels to the country.”Both [Gavaskar and Tendulkar] believe that India can beat Pakistan and emerge victorious in the World Cup. But Tendulkar is being criticised, saying he is favouring Pakistan.”He began his illustrious career as a 15-year-old by defeating Pakistan,” Pawar said.Tendulkar had said he would ‘hate’ to give away two points to Pakistan by not playing in the World Cup and India should rather beat them again to maintain the unbeaten record over the arch-rivals.”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.advertisementFormer and current cricketers have expressed varied opinions on severing cricketing ties with Pakistan. Former India skipper Sourav Ganguly had earlier backed a complete boycott of cricketing ties with Pakistan.”He [Sachin Tendulkar] wants two points against Pakistan, I want the World Cup so. Whichever way you look at it,” Ganguly said, reacting to Tendulkar’s comments.Also Read | Virat Kohli on World Cup clash vs Pakistan: We will go by what government and BCCI decideAlso Read | BCCI will be shown security plans for World Cup, says ICC chairman Shashank Manoharlast_img read more