Cricket must make Pakistan feel wanted

Bizarre and Pakistan cricket have come to be comfortable bedfellows – on the field, in the boardrooms of the Pakistan Cricket Board and in matters of Pakistan’s status as a host country.

updated: January 21, 2013 12:18 IST
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When it comes to India-Pakistan cricket matches, there is really only one question that needs to be asked and answered: should the two play each other on a regular basis?

If the answer is to be based on cricket, if politics is to be kept out of the equation, it can only be a resounding ‘yes’. But that is a tough ask. Politics, international and internal affairs, and much else come into the picture when we talk India-Pakistan. Therefore, the yes-es come slowly when they come at all; folk who talk about keeping politics out of cricket dither a little. Of course, much of the debate in India will always centre on the ‘how can we play with Pakistan when they are killing our people’ sentiment.

The latest involves protests in Mumbai by right-wing political groups, expectedly led by Shiv Sena, to Pakistan’s participation in the upcoming Women’s World Cup. The spur, this time, is the killing of two Indian soldiers at the troubled Line of Control, allegedly by Pakistan soldiers. As a result, the games in Group B, which features Pakistan, have been shifted out of Mumbai to Cuttack. But what happens in the unlikely event of Pakistan reaching the knockouts? Will those games be played in Cuttack too?

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