Mumbai, February 24: NCP chief Sharad Pawar reminded the ones slamming Sachin Tendulkar for holding that India should not boycott the match with Pakistan in the World Cup that the cricket legend started his career by beating the neighbouring country.
The issue of whether India should play with Pakistan is being raised after the February 14 Pulwama terror attack in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed. Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad has claimed responsibility for the attack.
During 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.
Gavaskar has echoed Tendulkar's views on the matter.
"Both 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.
Former and current cricketers have expressed varied opinions on severing cricketing ties with Pakistan.