Cricket, Sports, Politics, Diplomacy – Inzamam’s win, Dravid’s victory

30 April, 2005 at 18:18 Leave a comment

Kamran Abbassi has this ‘sone-pe-suhaaga’ addition to say about the recently concluded Indo-Pak cricket series –

“Dravid excelled himself. With the interview clearly over, Dravid hogged the microphone to thank Pakistan for touring India, playing in the right spirit, making friends, and being great ambassadors for their country.
Unfortunately, Inzamam-ul-Haq’s brain was not quick enough to repay the compliment — although he must surely wish he had. But Dravid, a true Indian hero and probable next captain, did more with those few well-chosen words to bring the nations closer together than any of the sixes, wickets, or politicians’ handshakes that occurred throughout the series. When a national role model shows that friendship is more important than animosity, it is hard for millions of impressionable cricket fans not to follow.
Pakistan’s players played their part too, justifiably thanking the Indian crowds for their support and affection throughout the series. And just as the behaviour of Pakistan’s crowds had been a pleasant revelation last year, so was the behaviour of the crowds in India. In 1999, when Pakistan last toured, the early example of sportsmanship set by Chennai’s cricket watchers was disappointingly ignored by the crowds in Delhi and Calcutta. No such disappointment on this occasion, as India showed that it could match Pakistan’s hospitality to a once-hostile neighbour.
So where does this feelgood factor lead us? It leads us to learn that as neighbours we can compete with maturity. It leads us to learn that we are more alike than we are different, something we once knew but had forgotten. It leads us to learn that cricket has a unique power in South Asia, a power that can be harnessed for peace by cricketers, officials, and politicians. It leads us to learn that the rivalry of India and Pakistan is at least as important, gripping, and essential as the rivalry for the Ashes. It leads us to learn that we prefer watching our cricketers battle ahead of hearing our politicians sabre-rattle. It leads us to learn that cricket is like a dialogue — and India and Pakistan need to keep talking. And, it leads us to learn that Rahul Dravid has turned a cricketing defeat into a diplomatic victory.”

Very true indeed. Am just happy that India lost. Nopes, am not showing grace in defeat which is a virtue but just that India is now not in the grips of that annoying cricket fever…

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