Karachi, Jan 17: The World Cup bound Pakistan team has been told to strictly avoid any discussions on religion, politics or Indo-Pak relations not only during their opening match against India but also in the other games of the quadrennial mega-event.
A senior official in the board said Chairman Shaharyar Khan in a meeting with the players had made it very clear that no sort of indiscipline or violation of the code of conduct would be tolerated in the World Cup.
"Shaharyar made it clear that the players must not speak on religious, political or Indo-Pak relations during interactions with the media and also avoid these issues even in banter on the field," the official said.
He said the caution was given in light of the unwanted controversy that developed last year when a video was uploaded on a video sharing website showing Pakistani batsman, Ahmed Shehzad talking about religion to Sri Lanka's Tillekaratne Dilshan when the two of them were coming out of the field.
"The PCB chief said that before the match with India even during media conferences or interactions if anyone put questions relating to religion or Indo-Pak political ties the players must decline to answer and instead refer it to the manager or media manager," he said.
He said the players had been told to also seek permission of the manager before entertaining or meeting any person on the tour and to also explicitly not to speak to any strangers.
"The players have been told that even if some media outlet contacts them directly for any purpose they should just tell them to talk to the manager and not indulge even in any informal discussion on telephone or in person," he said.
The official said that the players were reminded of their responsibilities under the code of conduct and as ambassadors of the country. Another source said the players had also been advised to avoid making any signs or gestures in the match against India which could inflame sentiments of the spectators.