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Pakistan: A Case Of Isolation At World Cup Cricket Match Schedules
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The T20 series in Pakistan between the home team and the World XI has kick start the games. Apart from the excellent play of both the teams in the first match, there is another side of the story. While Pakistan Cricket Board viewed this event as a great victory over their isolation in the game for long, there are nations that seems quite determined not to involve with the country. Here, politics and international diplomacy is breaking some grounds in a game like cricket. It is the absence of India players in the World XI, playing in Pakistan, which seems to be a bit awkward.
Presently, India is on top of cricket playing countries with some the best players in the world. Naturally, there are several Indians in the World XI team starting with captain Virat Kohli. But there are none to play in Pakistan. The country has revived its cricket and is also expected to make a mark in World Cup cricket match schedules. This is expected, at least after their “beyond expectation” performance in the Champions Trophy. They beat India in the final! It was a superb achievement of the team winning by 180 runs! And of course, nobody talked about it that much.
In the present team playing the T20 series, there are five players from South Africa, three players from Australia, two from West Indies. Bangladesh, England, New Zealand, and Sri Lanka has a player each from the teams. The coach is from Zimbabwe. The only representative players absent from the XI is from team India, the most influential cricket playing country in current teams. The coach Andy Flower, one of the greatest fans of India said the team is now stuffed with many games such that it could take out players for the World XI series in Pakistan. However, it is simply not true. India has enough players reserved and the team has reach a stature that it can replace any player with its reserves without affecting the overall performance of the them. Sending just one player to Pakistan was certainly not a big deal for BCCI. But it simply did not.
There was a time when India and Pakistan formed a joint team to play tournaments. In 1996, the joint India-Pakistan team toured Sri Lanka. In 2005, players from both the countries along with Sri Lanka formed the Asia XI. Also in 2009, the teams played charity matches at England. These are the gestures that makes the game better and bring up a good prospect for international diplomacy. India’s sports minister made it clear only months back that the country will just not play any cricket with Pakistan, neither its players will. The reason is cross-border terrorism. India have valid reasons, but the tables can be also turned the other way. Why not play cricket and restrict terrorism only to borders? This might break new grounds for growth of trust and friendship.
The author is associated with cricketbolo.com, the popular website for latest cricket news.
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