Former captain Sourav Ganguly has clarified that his statement that he wants ‘India to win the World Cup’ rather than two points against Pakistan was not meant as a counter-point to Sachin Tendulkar’s preference that the men in blue not forfeit the fixture against the arch-rivals.
“A lot of people in the media is trying to put my statement against Sachin’s when I said “I want the World Cup,” Ganguly said. “My response has got nothing to do with his statement, nor is my statement against his. He is, has been and will be one of my best friends for last 25 years.”
Ganguly had, last week, backed a complete boycott of cricketing ties with Pakistan, saying not playing the arch-rivals in the upcoming World Cup in the aftermath of terror attack in Pulwama where more than 40 Central Reserve Police Force personnel were killed. Ganguly had said withdrawing from the marquee World Cup match won’t have much of an impact on the Indian team’s campaign at the mega event in May-July.
Days later, Tendulkar 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 in the showpiece event to maintain their unbeaten record over the arch-rivals.
“He wants two points against Pakistan, I want the World Cup so...he wants two points I want the World Cup. Whichever way you look at it,” Ganguly was quoted as saying by PTI earlier.
Tendulkar tweeted back later on Sunday, saying, “Never felt the need for you to justify. Strongly believe that all of us want what’s best for our nation.”
Tendulkar, on his part, had said, “India has always come up trumps against Pakistan in the World Cup. It’s time to beat them once again. I would personally hate to give them two points and help them in the tournament. Having said that, for me India always comes first, so whatever my country decides, I will back that decision with all my heart.”