When it comes to India and Pakistan, it’s always more than just cricket
Reports say that the UN may grant “complete war” status to the Indo-Pak match but this is unconfirmed. Fans have reacted positively.
It has been asked if partnerships could be broken using bullets and not just bowling undercurrent ICC rules.
The tie is the match of the tournament so far which has been a dud of sorts. But then what else can one expect when the cup is held in a country where they vote to leave the European Union in a national referendum and then spend the next four years trying to figure out how.
Meanwhile, both Indians and Pakistanis are busy pretending it is all sports and nothing more.
Sure. And Kashmir is a cute hilly zone where shawls are made and both countries went nuclear in case the Maldives attacked.
All these words in the hope that the cricket they will play remind the viewers that it’s supposed to be exciting and competitive, not like the Afghanistan-South Africa battle which doesn’t need to be reported.
India is the bigger pretender of the two, to be honest. Virat Kohli faced half a dozen questions about the big match implications and he smiled and said it was all about their own preparation and not the opposition. Really?
Have you heard of Narendra Modi who just won two elections in a row, peddling Pakistani terrorism fears? Some say (read: Unconfirmed) he even refused to talk to Imran Khan hoping to keep cricket plans a secret?
Imran Khan was apparently voted to power as a reward for captaining his country to a cup victory in 1992. It’s a feat no Pakistani can forget and shouldn’t.
Unconfirmed reports say that Imran is keen on peace with India but only to the point that it doesn’t affect the pace prowess of Amir and Wahab fuelled by a desire to “liberate” Kashmir. Imagine two friendly giggly fast bowlers sending slow balls to India at critical points.
Indians are aware of the risks. That “cloud cover” reference by Modi was actually to the impact of covered pitches in cricket not aerial battles.
However, there is absolutely no truth in some Pakistani accusations that one of the targets of Indian planes were the alleged secret camps of the Pakistan cricket teams.
And there is no basis of Indian media allegations that Pakistan funded terror groups to visit India to inflict damage on cricket facilities failing which they would abduct a few players, particularly of the Bumrah variety.
India is a real Cup contender while Pakistan isn’t. But a tie between the two is not about cricket but two siblings who can’t live without hating the other.
Its hostilities like this which give it a good name.
Let’s hope the match tomorrow at least sizzles on the field while fans from both countries kill each other with online hate.
Life is beautiful, but a tie based on mutual hate is better.
Afsan Chowdhury is a journalist and researcher.