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An India-Pakistan series benefits a number of people and thus, has been squeezed in an already crowded cricket calendar. The players may like it or not, but cricket is being asked to bear the burden of diplomacy, writes Suresh Menon in Wisden India.
It is difficult to find folks on either side of the border who do not profit from an India-Pakistan series. For the politicians, it is a godsend. Photo-ops apart, there is no distraction like cricket to take attention away from scams, corruption, internecine battles, stagnation. For the cricket boards, it spells money and influence. India need Pakistan’s support at the ICC – what better way to ensure this?
Former players on both sides (Sunil Gavaskar apart, this time) are happy to be wheeled back into the spotlight and mouth platitudes on television about brotherhood and a shared past. The volume of advertisements in newspapers and magazines increases, so the print media are happy too.