Cricket Semifinal on 30th @ Mohali. Bat for AMITY
BAT FOR AMITY
For cricket fans, an India-Pakistan World Cup semi-final is a dream come true. For the business of the game, a contest between these legendary sporting rivals is commercially as big as it gets. Above all, there's the sporting turn in the politics of Indo-Pak cricket, often a casualty of bilateral ties gone sour. The staging of an Indo-Pak match on Indian soil for the first time since the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, and for a prestigious tournament like the World Cup, provided an opportunity for equally high-profile cricket diplomacy. Inviting Pakistan's president and prime minister for the Mohali encounter, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh did well to seize it.
This isn't the first time sport has spurred goodwill overtures. In 1987, Zia-ul Haq, then Pakistan's president, visited Jaipur during a Test match at Rajiv Gandhi's invite. This was called "cricket for peace". In 2004, the Indian squad toured Pakistan in an historic "Friendship series". In 2005, Pervez Musharraf famously watched an ODI at Delhi's Feroz Shah Kotla. Today, with Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani accepting Singh's invitation, the prospect of Indo-Pak trysts both on and off the field come March 30 fuels hopes that the two nations' leaders can bat for amity after prolonged acrimony post-26 /11. At a time calibrated dialogue � home secretary-level talks start today � has accompanied tamped down expectations, Singh's gesture will generate feelgood on both sides of the border.
Last edited by DexteR; 11-04-2012 at 11:07 PM.