Governmentís decision to call off the Pakistan tour right or wrong?
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
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.
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
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.