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 Is Governmentís decision to call off the Pakistan tour right or wrong?  
By Vimal Kumar

The central governmentís decision of not giving permission to Indian cricket team to tour Pakistan in this winter has again triggered a debate on whether politics should be mixed with sports. This article discusses both the aspects of this decision and let the reader decide whatís right or whatís wrong

Right: Of course, cricket fans in the sub-continent must have felt disappointed by the Governmentís decision but it wasnít too surprising. Three months back, government had cancelled the Sahara cup saying that it was not in the best interest of the country to play with a team like Pakistan, which is hostile towards India.

The union governmentís argument is that before Kargil happened, they did everything to normalize the relationship between the two countries. India hosted Pakistan for a test series and a triangular one-day series and gave warm reception to the Pakistanis.  I between, our PM traveled all the way from Delhi to Lahore. There was everything- hype, hoopla, bonhomie and goodwill too. But what was Pakistanís reply. Our generosity, friendliness and hospitality was seen as our cowardice. And they dared to do a Kargil.

As long as, Pakistan is belligerent towards India and doesnít stop cross-border terrorism, no sporting event should take place no matter how important they may be. There is no point in playing with a country, which is slaughtering our men in Kashmir and inciting violence.

And last but not the least, Pakistan have done it so many times in the past, so what if India does it. Let Pakistan taste their own medicine and realize how unprofessional this is.  Because in the past, they have cancelled so many times citing security reasons.

Against: The new sports minister Uma Bharti herself admits that sports shouldnít be mixed with politics. So, it is more intriguing, why they have not let the team go.  

Cricket is treated, as a religion in both countries and nothing can be more entertaining than India playing against Pakistan. The game is followed passionately in these countries and it can be used as a bridge to bring both countries together. In fact, Indo-Pak games bring goodwill and bonhomie, as it was evident during Pakistanís tour of India in early-99. Sachin is as much an icon in Pakistan as he is in India and so is Wasim Akram. Notwithstanding their patriotism, fans across both countries enjoy and love to see their heroes fight out on the field. So, it would be unfair for a common man to be deprived of this great opportunity.  

There is one school of thought, which believes that it doesnít make sense to cancel the tour reasoning Pakistanís hostility towards India. Well, Pakistan has been like this for so many years and yet we have played with them and one canít understand why there should be any difference.

Besides that, the BCCI will fall into trouble as Pakistani press and board is planning to boycott all future cricketing ties with India and they have asked for $15 million in compensation. ICC is also putting pressure on the BCCI to take this trip otherwise they will consider suspending India from playing against any test nation.

Though, players might not admit it publicly, but they all want to play against Pakistan because the mere name of Pakistan is enough to ignite them for giving their best. Cricket lovers will be ruing this missed opportunity of seeing these teams play together. So, it is rightly said that this tour should commence.


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