26 December 2008

Cricket diplomacy OR who's crying for Indo-Pak cricket?

The sharp fall in Indo-Pak warmth since Zardari gripped Manmohan in New York in what was probably the tightest that a Pakistani President has ever hugged an Indian PM, cricket, like the Samjhauta, the Lahore-Amritsar bus-route and Indo-Pak trade on several other occasions, has become a victim of bad relationships between the countries. Perhaps we forgot ourselves in the euphoria of the 2003 tour. Then, when people started seeing cricketing relationships as a barometer of friendliness, we should have known that cricket would once again be one of the first victims of a diplomatic chill. Should it be so? Should we see sport in isolation, or should we see this as part of the larger question of whether people-to-people contact should survive these testing times when governments sulk and the words, "nobody wants a war" are on an everlasting loop on news television. If trade survives, if academic relationships between Universities survive, then there is no reason for sport to be singled out. There are no easy answers. And I won't be giving you one, sorry. Elsewhere in the world, South Koreans are going on guided tours to North Korea, and Americans are visiting Cuba in droves.

But I think the following thoughts are relevant in reaching the answer.
1. I am sick and tired of India-Pakistan cricket anyway and would prefer to wait at least a year more before we play each other again. What I mean is, the loss is not that terrible, though it will be if India do not tour Pakistan in the next five years.
2. The levels of paranoia in India are unprecedented. Even during the Kargil war (my only memory of an actual-and-not-proxy India-Pakistan war) war-mongering was not this shrill.
3. What is the status of Pakistani IPL players?

1 comment:

Damith S. said...

well to me, it should be in isolation, however in todays world this is extremely unlikely.

i always enjoy watching ind-pak series, when was the last time they played in any case?