Pakistan, India – Revival of cricket ties not possible anytime soon
Indian Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh hosted his Pakistani counterpart for the ICC Cricket World Cup semi-final in Mohali, on the 30th of March 2011.
The match saw India beat Pakistan and the two Prime Minister’s vow to revive ties between the two countries. Media reports indicated an imminent revival of cricketing ties between the two nations but Mr. Shukla, the Vice President of the Indian Cricket Board,
denied receiving any word on the matter from the government.
He also added that there were no free slots on their calendar to accommodate an India-Pakistan series, until the end of March 2012 at the earliest. Also, the International Cricket Council has not cleared Pakistan for hosting cricket matches after the attack
on the Sri Lankan team in Lahore, in 2009.
According to earlier Media reports, the two countries were all set to revive cricketing ties which were severed after the Mumbai attacks in 2008. The last cricket series played between the two nations was in 2007-2008; cricket fans from both the countries
have been demanding a match since then but political issues had been hampering progress.
Last month, when the two Prime Ministers met, Mr. Singh had voiced his desire to cast away ancient animosities, terming cricket as a uniting factor. Pakistan-India matches have always drawn out the largest crowds, the color, the flair, excitement and unity
seen through these matches is unrivaled.
The current Pakistani coach, Waqar Younis stated that it was imperative that the contests between the two countries be revived, “The most important thing for Pakistan is the revival of our contests with India, which is also beneficial for the entire cricketing
world. The rivalry is more important than the Ashes Tournament.” He said.
Waqar further added, “Though Pakistan reached the World Cup semi-final, we have not been playing international matches at home, which is worrying for us. And a bilateral series against India can revive international cricket in Pakistan.”
According to Waqar, such activities will serve as catalysts in bringing the people of the two nations closer. The Pakistani tennis star, Aisam ul Haq has also requested the Prime Minister for permission to play against the Indian star, Rohan Bopanna, in
a bid to better relations and spread the message of peace between the two nations.