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More than just cricket
01-22-2009, 09:27 AM
Post: #1
More than just cricket
REGARDLESS of what happens on the field of play, the very fact that our national cricketers have finally got something reasonable to keep themselves busy with must have come as a relief to the players and the Pakistan Cricket Board alike. For the followers of the game, the touring Sri Lankans deserve applause for their willingness to fill in for the missing Indians. Anyone who knows how international cricket is conducted these days would realise how difficult, sometimes impossible, it is to factor in last-minute changes in even a scheduled tour. It takes more than mere cricketing reasons to agree to undertake an unscheduled assignment. The tour surely is a gesture of good-neighbourliness, regional fraternity and empathy with what Pakistan is going through in its time of crisis that has left, among other things, its cricket in tatters. It’s a pity that everything that we can, and do, associate with the Lankan gesture happens to be just what we have found totally missing in our neighbour — India — which has for long nurtured hopes of being the regional big brother without showing the necessary temperament that goes with the profile. And, in the cricketing context, a big brother with a short fuse, a serious lack of understanding and a tendency to blow hot and cold is rendered a bully.
Militancy in the region has varying colours and textures. Whether it is ethnic or religious-based, we see it in a number of countries including India where there are pockets of instability and unrest. We see it in Pakistan and Sri Lanka and, breaking away from cricket-playing countries, in Nepal. It would not have been a misplaced hope that the region would look inwards to draw strength through empathy considering the long list of shared woes on the militancy front. But that has not been the case. It is in this context that one must acknowledge that the Sri Lankan team’s presence in the country has been reassuring. It is largely because of them that international cricket has returned to Pakistan and, for once, there is reason to celebrate.

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