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Is India justified in not touring Pakistan?

Posted by Sathyamurthy www.sathyamurthy.com on December 19, 2008

In the aftermath of last month’s deadly terror strike in Mumbai, Indian Government has communicated to BCCI to call off the Indian Cricket Team’s tour to Pakistan. So the tour is off now.

One may note that it is not the first time that the relationship between the two countries have soured and it is not the first time that cricketing ties between the two countries gets strained due to the political issues.

If I remember correctly, India did not play Pakistan for 17 long years (from 1961 to 1978). In those times however matches were few and far between and the two countries had also fought two wars in the interim period.

Then the cricketing ties resumed in 1978 (Gen Zia was at the helm in Pakistan at that time) and the friendship tours went on till 1999 without any trouble. Then Kargil happened and it made no sense for both countries to play cricket when both countries were waging a war. Once again between 1999 to 2004 there were no cricket tours between the two countries though they played against each other in a world cup match in 2003 as the same could not be avoided by both the teams being an international tournament.

One will agree that it made no sense to play cricket when there was serious animosity between the two countries and wars waged.

The various wars that we have fought in the past is one of the reasons why any sports encounter between the two countries is keenly followed by fans from both countries, whether resident or non-resident. A sporting victory is almost always celebrated as if it was a victory in a war. And die hard cricket fan in these countries rate the cricket matches between India and Pakistan higher and bigger than the Ashes clash between Australia and England.

Thus, a cricket match is not simply seen as a cricket match but more like a war but paradoxically is also seen as some kind of friendship extension. This paradox is mainly because of the reason we play cricket and even tout it as a friendship gesture in times of peace and stop playing cricket once the friendship is strained.

Irrespective, it should be noted that every time the two countries stopped sporting ties, there was a war. However, this time there is no war, at least till now. It was a terrorist attack. But, the terrorist attack in Mumbai has shaken the very pedestal of the good faith and friendship that the two countries enjoyed. It is not war, but fast developing into a war like situation.

When the souls are wounded, it is not possible to play games with the very same country purported to be the breeding ground for terrorists.

Thus, it is not for the fear of terrorist attacks or security concerns that India has called off the Pakistan tour, it is because of the wounds of 26/11 terror attack on India’s financial capital. One should also recall that India offered to tour Pakistan and supported Pakistan’s cause just a few months back when few other countries like Australia and England were refusing to visit Pakistan for the Champions Trophy.

Hence, in my opinion, India is very well justified in not touring Pakistan right now.

Results of all test matches played between India and Pakistan is available here
Results of all one day matches played between the two teams is available here

2 Responses to “Is India justified in not touring Pakistan?”

  1. Tarun said

    I dont want Indians to visit Pakistan.
    I imagine the senior p;layers wouldnt have want to go their either.

    If Pakis are calling double standards thats coz they are running in monetary losses, not team is ready to visit them.They have hardly played anything at home this year.

  2. triplicani said

    It is right Tarun. I do not think Indian public is disappointed at this. Rather they will be more happy that we are not touring. However, I did like Akram’s comment immediately after 26/11 ended that both countries should play a friendship game in Mumbai. But that he told much before the Pakistan Government started singing different tunes on an hourly basis.

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