No sports­man­ship

In­dia’s con­tin­ued stance of not play­ing cricket with Pak­istan is against the spirit of the game.

Southasia - - FEATURE -

For peo­ple liv­ing in the sub­con­ti­nent, what can be more ex­cit­ing than a cricket match be­tween Pak­istan and In­dia? Whether it is a T20 com­pe­ti­tion, a one day in­ter­na­tional (ODI), or a Test match, it is al­ways a thrill to see both coun­tries play­ing with each other.

Un­for­tu­nately, such grip­ping mo­ments now come once in a blue moon, as In­dia finds it out of place to play a bi­lat­eral cricket se­ries with Pak­istan on the lat­ter's home ground or at neu­tral venues due to po­lit­i­cal rea­sons.

Be­ing

cricket

lov­ing

na­tions, Pak­istan and In­dia are more into cricket than many other na­tions. There­fore, it is com­mon to see peo­ple in both coun­tries burn­ing the ef­fi­gies of their fa­vorite play­ers and shout­ing slogans against their na­tional teams, in case of a de­feat by their arch-ri­val.

In Pak­istan, the game of cricket is quite a craze but for the In­di­ans it is next to re­li­gion. While peo­ple in Pak­istan love their crick­eters more than other celebri­ties, peo­ple in In­dia wor­ship their crick­et­ing he­roes and idolize play­ers in the same way as they idolize deities and re­li­gious fig­ures. If cricket is a cult any­where in the world, it is in In­dia.

Cricket diplo­macy is also a part of the for­eign pol­icy of both Pak­istan and In­dia and In­dia of­ten ex­ploits the gen­tle­man’s game to set­tle (or un­set­tle) its diplo­matic re­la­tions with its neigh­bour. Us­ing cricket as a po­lit­i­cal tool, the heads of state of each coun­try have in the past ex­changed their vis­its to im­prove re­la­tions, while peo­ple from across the border also travel to the other to watch matches.

From the In­dian side, how­ever, there has been an of­fi­cial boy­cott of cricket with Pak­istan, ex­cept for those

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