Sunil Gavaskar has always took issues head on, as an opener, as captain, as commentator, and as a proud Indian.
And unlike the politicians, who would like to keep tangling the India-Pakistan relations for their personal benefits, Gavaskar had a clear message on the decision to revive the cricketing diplomacy.
That message got lost when the argument took a patriotic tenor because Sunny cited himself as a “Mumbaikar“. As @Osman Samiuddin says in The National, his fault with the decision lay with the fact that there was no need for such a quickie tour because it will cram up the Indian cricketer‘s schedule.
It gives one the impression that the Indian cricket board was as much a greedy dog on the leash as their Pakistan counterparts. All along they could barely keep their composure seeing Pakistan Cricket Board‘s desperation to have the bankroller of a series and the posturing of the Indian government on the other hand. They all were just waiting for a gesture from the government to bolt out of the blocks.
And as Seema Sirohi points out, even the irksome comment of Salman Bashir – Pakistan’s amabassador to India who said he found it ‘unbelievable’ that the blame of Mumbai‘s terror attack was wrongly cast on his country of spotless image – would not derail the decision to go ahead.
Samiuddin says there can be lot of minor irritations like a bruised ego, etc, etc which could still derail this move. Sirohi reminds us of one such possible issue but which India has nicely ignored, for reasons unknown: Remember 2005 when hundreds of Pakistani fans came across the border and partook of the joy that only an India-Pakistan match can generate? Here is a grim detail — among the fans were 14 people who never went back to Pakistan and were never found. … Can Indian officials ensure the next batch of attackers doesn’t sneak in as we begin the new round of cricket diplomacy?
For now, a shortened version has been suggested as a sweetener, a small gamble to test the waters.
- Gavaskar slams BCCI’s decision to resume ties with Pakistan (nation.com.pk)
- India-Pakistan cricket: Too early or just in time? (sports.ndtv.com)
- Sangakkara replaces Gavaskar as highest scorer against Pak (thehindu.com)