Pakistan in India 2012-13 December 24, 2012

We need a longer season of cricket goodwill

It is the season of goodwill. Pakistan's cricketers are in India to restart the healing process for fractured political relationships.
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It is the season of goodwill. A charity single is at number one on the music charts, showing that the fiercest foes, the management, players, and supporters of Everton and Liverpool football clubs in this case, can unite like brothers for a worthy cause. Now Pakistan's cricketers are in India to restart the healing process for fractured political relationships.

Let's face it, cricket between India and Pakistan is simply a tactical move in the great game of political power in South Asia, a game that players and spectators are helpless to influence. When will the politics end and the cricket run for freedom? When will goodwill no longer be confined to a season or two?

Not much has changed really. India's complaints against Pakistan over the Mumbai attacks linger on. Pakistanis are still excluded from the Indian Premier League. A tour of Pakistan by a major cricket nation seems impossible. The cricket boards blow hot and cold in their relationship. Players remain friends. Spectators want the contest. Not much changes but the cricket comes and goes.

After years of watching this dance, I'd quite like it to end. We've missed out too often on Sachin Tendulkar and Shahid Afridi, the box office stars of the last decade, competing against each other. We'll never see that individual contest again. Great dramas and unforgettable moments were within our reach and we spurned them. Histories were never made, tales of glory unable to be told.

The glory in this upcoming series does not lie in its outcome. For what it's worth, India must be strong favourites for the Twenty20 matches and Pakistan will challenge better in 50-overs cricket. But the value is in competing, whatever political twist and turn or financial imperative made the series a reality. The challenge for politicians and administrators is to ensure that cricket between India and Pakistan becomes the rule, not an exception.

I don't think it is a cliché that cricket can help normalise relationships. I believe it can. There is nothing more normal to the human spirit than to compete. Familiarity can breed contempt but it is more likely to foster tolerance and respect. The more we play the less politically loaded each contest will become. The single greatest initiative to encourage peace in the region would be to mandate a full bilateral cricket series every two years, enshrined in the constitutions of both India and Pakistan. I know it will never happen but I'm equally confident it would work.

There is nothing special about cricket but it happens to hold a special place in the hearts and minds of the people of South Asia. That's why cricket can succeed where politicians obsessed with power and money have failed for half a century - if we give it a chance.

Kamran Abbasi is an editor, writer and broadcaster. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Hasan Ali Khan on January 3, 2013, 13:02 GMT

    What a formidable Team Pakistan could be ifitretired Oldies such as Younis Kham and Misbah at least from the ODis ? This is now long overdue .

  • Dr. AzmaT Khan on January 3, 2013, 9:59 GMT

    The equation has been clear for some years now . Misbah cannot justify his position in the Team as a TBatsman . He won,t retire of course . He should be retired .

  • Javed Ahsan Khan on January 3, 2013, 9:50 GMT

    Younis Khan , Misbah and Younis Khan after such brilliant start given by Hafeez and Jamshed made batting look so difficult on an easy paced wicket . They as they often do destroyed Pakistan,s chance of an easy victory .

  • AhmedYar Khan on January 3, 2013, 9:31 GMT

    If India wins the second ODI the architect for their victory will be Younis Khan and Misbah with their dismal batting.. In this match as they often do when Pakistan sin a very comfortable position they start batting at a pace which places Pakistan in a desperate position . They should be retired . Period .

  • Humayun Butt on January 3, 2013, 9:08 GMT

    Misbah,s bad patch has been continuing fornmore than three years now . He has been a total failure in ODIs for many years now . It now looks he should retire not only from ODIs but cricket itself . After a brilliant start by the openers Younis Khan and Misbah made a mountain of a easy task and a very easy paced wicket and handed the match back to the Indians . Misbah and Younis Khan should retire definitely from ODIs if they retire from Tests as it will be even better.

  • Peter D,Souza on January 3, 2013, 8:55 GMT

    What disappointing ODIs Batsman Younis Khan is . He comes in to bat when the openers have given Pakistan a great start . However , he bats making a run per two balls . He hadthe opportunity to thelp in taking Pakistan,s score to alevel of 325 . He is now well past playing ODIs . Let's see what Misbah does . He is another cricketer totally unsuitable for ODIs .

  • Ahmed Rathore on January 3, 2013, 8:40 GMT

    Younis Khan is a great disappointment as An ODI Batsman . He came in to bat after A great start given by the openers on a very easy paced wicket . He bats almost always as ifheis batting in the 4th inning to draw a match . Can the selectors not see that he is no longer fit for ODIs ?

  • Ashraf Khan Janjua on January 3, 2013, 8:21 GMT

    Hafeez and Jamshed have given Pakistan a great start . Now we have to see how Pakistan,s middle order Misbah , Younis and Shoaib Malik perform . These three are not natural ODI cricketers . They always need to pace their innings and when the occasion demands to score fast from the first ball they can almost never do it. Misbah for one overdue for retirement from ODIs

  • Javed Hasan on January 3, 2013, 6:28 GMT

    It has been a long time since Misbah performed . In thelast ODI Misbah not only failed as a batsman he dropped an easy catch of Dhoni when he was on 16. But for that miserable lapse India would have been out for less than 60 . Misbah should retire from ODIs . Hafeez should captain both T 20s Team and the ODIs Teamm

  • Waleed Khan on January 1, 2013, 18:56 GMT

    Well so far Malik and Younis have performed on the tour. This tells us that Pakistan need 2 batsmen for each middle and top order position. I think that this should be our side from now on T20: Jamshed, Shehzad, Hafeez(c), Malik, Shafiq/ Razzaq, U.Akmal, K.Akmal, Afridi, Raza Hasan, Umar Gul, Ajmal Test: Hafeez,Shafiq, Azhar, Younis, Yousuf, Misbah(c), Adnan, Gul, Rehman, Ajmal, Junaid ODI: Jamshed,Azhar Ali/Shafiq, Malik, Younis(c), Umar Akmal/Fawad Alam, Kamran Akmal, Hammad Azam, Raza Hasan, Gul, Ajmal

  • Hasan Ali Khan on January 3, 2013, 13:02 GMT

    What a formidable Team Pakistan could be ifitretired Oldies such as Younis Kham and Misbah at least from the ODis ? This is now long overdue .

  • Dr. AzmaT Khan on January 3, 2013, 9:59 GMT

    The equation has been clear for some years now . Misbah cannot justify his position in the Team as a TBatsman . He won,t retire of course . He should be retired .

  • Javed Ahsan Khan on January 3, 2013, 9:50 GMT

    Younis Khan , Misbah and Younis Khan after such brilliant start given by Hafeez and Jamshed made batting look so difficult on an easy paced wicket . They as they often do destroyed Pakistan,s chance of an easy victory .

  • AhmedYar Khan on January 3, 2013, 9:31 GMT

    If India wins the second ODI the architect for their victory will be Younis Khan and Misbah with their dismal batting.. In this match as they often do when Pakistan sin a very comfortable position they start batting at a pace which places Pakistan in a desperate position . They should be retired . Period .

  • Humayun Butt on January 3, 2013, 9:08 GMT

    Misbah,s bad patch has been continuing fornmore than three years now . He has been a total failure in ODIs for many years now . It now looks he should retire not only from ODIs but cricket itself . After a brilliant start by the openers Younis Khan and Misbah made a mountain of a easy task and a very easy paced wicket and handed the match back to the Indians . Misbah and Younis Khan should retire definitely from ODIs if they retire from Tests as it will be even better.

  • Peter D,Souza on January 3, 2013, 8:55 GMT

    What disappointing ODIs Batsman Younis Khan is . He comes in to bat when the openers have given Pakistan a great start . However , he bats making a run per two balls . He hadthe opportunity to thelp in taking Pakistan,s score to alevel of 325 . He is now well past playing ODIs . Let's see what Misbah does . He is another cricketer totally unsuitable for ODIs .

  • Ahmed Rathore on January 3, 2013, 8:40 GMT

    Younis Khan is a great disappointment as An ODI Batsman . He came in to bat after A great start given by the openers on a very easy paced wicket . He bats almost always as ifheis batting in the 4th inning to draw a match . Can the selectors not see that he is no longer fit for ODIs ?

  • Ashraf Khan Janjua on January 3, 2013, 8:21 GMT

    Hafeez and Jamshed have given Pakistan a great start . Now we have to see how Pakistan,s middle order Misbah , Younis and Shoaib Malik perform . These three are not natural ODI cricketers . They always need to pace their innings and when the occasion demands to score fast from the first ball they can almost never do it. Misbah for one overdue for retirement from ODIs

  • Javed Hasan on January 3, 2013, 6:28 GMT

    It has been a long time since Misbah performed . In thelast ODI Misbah not only failed as a batsman he dropped an easy catch of Dhoni when he was on 16. But for that miserable lapse India would have been out for less than 60 . Misbah should retire from ODIs . Hafeez should captain both T 20s Team and the ODIs Teamm

  • Waleed Khan on January 1, 2013, 18:56 GMT

    Well so far Malik and Younis have performed on the tour. This tells us that Pakistan need 2 batsmen for each middle and top order position. I think that this should be our side from now on T20: Jamshed, Shehzad, Hafeez(c), Malik, Shafiq/ Razzaq, U.Akmal, K.Akmal, Afridi, Raza Hasan, Umar Gul, Ajmal Test: Hafeez,Shafiq, Azhar, Younis, Yousuf, Misbah(c), Adnan, Gul, Rehman, Ajmal, Junaid ODI: Jamshed,Azhar Ali/Shafiq, Malik, Younis(c), Umar Akmal/Fawad Alam, Kamran Akmal, Hammad Azam, Raza Hasan, Gul, Ajmal

  • Salim Nasir Kazi on December 30, 2012, 9:42 GMT

    Today,s ODI should be final test for our Oldies - Younis Khan , Misbah and Shoaib Malik . If they do not perform it is high tine they should be exec from the Team so that Thelong overdue Team building can begin for Pakistan

  • Javed Hasan on December 30, 2012, 9:21 GMT

    Misbah ,s dropped catch of adjoin when he was at 16 was a very big blunder . He no longer can bat at the level required for ODIs . He should retire or should be retired .

  • Ashraf Khan Janjua on December 30, 2012, 9:16 GMT

    Pakistan failed to put presure on India after Junaid Khan had given them a brilliant start with his very fine spell of bowling . The dropped catch of Dhoni when he was on 16 by Misbah was a blunder to say the least . Misbah is totally unfit as a batsman for ODIs . He isa poor fielder and a not so good ODIs Captain with his nervous cautious approach . It is high to me he should retire to make way for a better younger player to take his place .

  • Javed Hasan on December 30, 2012, 6:48 GMT

    Cronyism in Pakistan cricket ishe one biggest factor in Pakistan cricket reaching the heights itch asthe capacity to reach . Take ODIs for several years now Younis Khan , Misbah and Shoaib Malik have amply demonstrated they do not have the capacity for playing in ODIs . They are simply unable to score at a run a ball or better which is often required . There are severa promising batsmen who are not given the opportunity to play instead of them . The bet result is that the long overdueTeam building doesn't,t commence and Pakistan continues to underperform vis a vis its potential .

  • akb on December 29, 2012, 6:36 GMT

    Afridi has given more runs than he has scored.He has become a double edged dagger.

  • AnurupAnshuman on December 29, 2012, 4:44 GMT

    common men in blues,its not abt sachin,wat sachin will do ?if u all guys fail 2 perform.i am not encouraging sachin but u guys kno how much hardships u all faced 2 reach this level,n u guys dont perform,is sachin 2 b blamed for tat?lift ur team wid performance,then u see if sachin has performed r not?

  • Humayun Butt on December 28, 2012, 15:27 GMT

    All in all a good fighting performance by Pakistan . Pakistan very likely would have won this match but for it's poor field setting and fielding and continuing poor Team selection . Whyplayers such as Abdul Razaq , Raza and Junaid not included in the team? Tanvir doesn't,t have the class to merit inclusion . Shoaib fails in most innings . Afridi should be retired . He is now a poor in bowling and if he lucky he scores in two digits . It is mind boggling how players such as Afridi, Shoaib Malik and Tanvir are preferred overAbdul Razaq .

  • ahk on December 28, 2012, 15:00 GMT

    when is this Umar Akmal going to mature ? A million dollar question

  • AhmedbRathore on December 28, 2012, 14:48 GMT

    Afridi failed again as a batsman after a mediocre spell as a bowler . When was it the last time he scored a fifty in either ODIs or T 20s ? Why is he not retired ? Similarly , Shoaib Malok who at best performs in one innings out of 10 why is he included in the Team? The single biggest problem in Pakistan cricket is Team selection . What is the reason for the non inclusion of Abdul Razaq ? He should be called for the ODIs before it is too late .m

  • Ashraf Khan Janjua on December 28, 2012, 13:35 GMT

    Indiab scored a huge total because the wicket in Ahmedabad is very easy paced and Hafeez after winning the toss opted to field first . Now this will be real test for Pakistani batsmen . Can players like Afridi , Shoaib Malik deliver here. It was huge mistake notnto include Sami , the fastest bowler available in Pakistan . It would have been very difficult to score fast against him . The man who will be really missed today is Abdul Razaq a victim of politics . He is easily the best ODIs and T 20 s player in Pakistan . Cleaning Pakistan Team selection from polities is long overdue .

  • Javed Hasan on December 28, 2012, 13:01 GMT

    Hafeez blundered in opting to field aftervwinning the toss on a easy paced batting wicket . This will be the real test for Shoaib Malik who scores in one inning after ten . It should also be a final test for Afridi who is a mediocre bowler and cannot bat at all . Shouldn,t he be be scked if he fails again ? Abdul Razaq will be missed once again . PCB Chairman should a dress the politics and cronyism in Team selection .

  • akb on December 28, 2012, 9:55 GMT

    After an opening stand of 77 India must have been thinking of a total around 180 plus for Pak to win. T20 is tricky game. Anything can happen. There are so many factors,which can influence the end result starting from the toss to wicket,players combination,captaincy, body language & of course performance of the players on the field on that particular day. Let,s wait & see.

  • ahk on December 28, 2012, 9:42 GMT

    Hafeez guard against Ind backlash.Ind is under pressure because of their players recent performance. There is a lot more than just playing the game. Capitalise on the psychological advantage pak is having over its rival. Waseem Akram was very good during his captaincy by keeping things very simple in toughest competitions.

  • akb on December 28, 2012, 9:36 GMT

    Hafeez should stick to the winning combination,fitness permitting. There are already a lot of youngsters playing in the team.

  • khalil on December 28, 2012, 9:33 GMT

    Ind not only need Ashwin but also Sehwag. One he can give 100 runs in less than 10 overs & two, his track record against Pak. Dhoni must be knowing better but people think that Ashwin is a better option than Jadeja. But i think play both of them to have a competition. Pak is definitely favourites

  • Saket on December 27, 2012, 18:05 GMT

    Don't worry, Kamran!! The Indian team will provide lots of goodwill for you. In fact, it has a long-standing tradition of giving confidence to out-of-form opposition team players, Shoaib Malik being the latest example. I totally understand why Pakistan wants to play India so much. I hope India loses every match because that is the only way that there will some improvement in terms of quality.

  • Shahid Ali on December 27, 2012, 10:47 GMT

    I disagree with Kamran Abbassi. I think everytime when there is a cricket match between the two arch rivals, the level of rivalry / envy increases in the hearts of the people of the respective nations. Notice a young teenaager during a match or a series. Knowing nothing about the political relations, they only start hating the other nation due to the atmosphere of the cricket matches between India and Pak.

    We should NOT overlook the importance of creating love in the minds of the common people

  • Vish on December 27, 2012, 9:57 GMT

    @F.F: You are saying that by playing 23 years, anyone can break Sachin's records. It is like saying that anyone can break Lara's 400 run records if batsman doesn't get out! Please, think before you write!

  • Aijaz Ahmed on December 27, 2012, 6:18 GMT

    I agree with Javed Hasan's comments regarding Abdul Razzaq. He (Razzaq) should be included based on merit/performance. However, PCB selection board is biased and influenced by dirty politics.

  • Wicked Keeper on December 27, 2012, 4:51 GMT

    I normally enjoy reading Kamran Abbasi's writing, but I do feel that his approach in this one is overly simplistic. As CLR James said "What do they know of cricket who only cricket know?", sport is not isolated from the environment it lives in.

    There is no doubt in my mind that India-Pakistan cricket is a huge political and commercial vehicle. However, it is also a reflection of the views of people in the two countries. Abbasi mentions Mumbai 2008 in passing, but it is viewed as a huge betrayal by a vast majority in India, particularly evidence that the state agency ISI actively supported the planning and execution of the attacks.

    When there is visible activity by the people of Pakistan to change their government's support of this proxy war, there will be much more popular support in India for resuming normal relations between the countries not only in Cricket but on other fronts as well. That ball is in the Pakistani people's court.

  • Viswa Ghosh on December 27, 2012, 4:45 GMT

    If human beings are "social animals" we Indians are political animals. Like cockroaches, politics and politicians are present in every woodwork!

    What the hell are politicians doing in cricket and other sports governing bodies? Let these governing bodies be left to the veteran sports personalities - who understand the nitty-gritties and nuances of the game.

    Why do politicians have to have their fingers (dirty paws) in every pie?

  • Fraz Waraich on December 26, 2012, 23:23 GMT

    To be honest! It's great to resume the cricketing ties though we don't have test matches yet. Mumbai attacks were an attack on the "humanity" overall. And so are the atleast 15000 Mumbai-esque attacks within Pakistan but let's put it this way,Both the Governements are responsible for all this mess because they they couldn't prevent these things to happen. Is IPL any better without the Pak players? Or Mumbai based politicians preventing Pakistani players to play there is a sane thing? It's so far understandable that none of the teams are ready to play in Pakistan because to be honest there is no guarantee of safety of even the very own politicians there. But anyways if BCCI has had this attitude of depriving fans of the "ultimate cricket", then it's insane .

  • Neo on December 26, 2012, 18:38 GMT

    Taking Tendulkar and Afridi's name in the same breathe is not fair. i don't think there can be a competition between these two. Had you compared Tendulkar to likes of Akram or Imran, it's more appropriate.

  • ahk on December 26, 2012, 14:01 GMT

    Pak needs consistency.Don,t be complacent ! Tigers

  • F.F on December 26, 2012, 12:19 GMT

    Kumar Sangakkara became the 11th batsman to score 10,000 Test runs. He did so in his 195th innings, which makes him joint-fastest, along with Brian Lara and Sachin Tendulkar. let Sangakkara play for another 5 to 8 years to make and break records....as SKT did by playing 23 years.... so anybody can do that.... Afridi just playing positive and as much as longer...he fair , sincere and trim card for Pakistan...

  • f khawaja on December 26, 2012, 10:57 GMT

    the first T20 was a great match. pakistan was the better side and deservedly won. pakistan has a great team with great bowling and now much improved fielding. the batting is also good with depth till number 10. Irfan, the new pacer is very exciting and if he can remain fit he will be a great asset for pakistan. all in all a good team selection and a good performance.

  • jk82 on December 26, 2012, 10:12 GMT

    @ahk seems as though your message got through to Professor Hafeez cause he made the Indian Bowlers stiff yestetday and produced a performance that ought to make you chew on your words.

  • Shariq Shah on December 26, 2012, 9:22 GMT

    Being a pakistani citizen, and cricket fan i would love to see both India and Pakistan play more because the rivalry is quite mezmerizing.

    Same time being neutral, i think it does tie up with each country interferring in eachother's matters, which forms the COLD ICE between nations either it is Pakistan's involvement in Mumbai Blast or India's interference in Balochistan / Afghanistan.

    I do think peace does matter and SPORTS can be a catalyst but a wise man once said inorder to clap, one need both hands and unfortunately these TWO hands refuse to take ownership of their behaviours.

    So i do not think cricket diplomacy is the answer, unless both sides sit and think logically and apply LIVE and LET LIVE.

    I am not blamming just India, i think Pakistan also have their own things to sort out.

  • Zafar Siddiqi on December 26, 2012, 7:40 GMT

    Unfortunately, the hardliners in India have not changed their stance. Only a couple of years ago, some of us in Pakistan were not in favor of having any dialogue with India if Kashmir issue was not number 1 issue on the agenda. Pakistan has practically demonstrated by giving India MFN and stepping back without compromising off course on Kashmir issue during the meetings of high officials. It is high time for our neighbourers to resolve the core issues in a peaceful manner. On the other hand, a crowd of 40,000 at Mohali was a substantial proof that people on both sides want to see sports played between them(at-least Cricket) without any involvement of politics. Zafar

  • aasim on December 26, 2012, 6:28 GMT

    cricket is cricket and its a game not real life it should be kept isolated from politics if playing against each other in Pakistan or India is not possible due to political reasons then they should play on neutral venues game should continue and so should the relations but on different roads

  • akb on December 26, 2012, 3:15 GMT

    Well done Tigers. T20 series should at least be of 3 matches. We expect Ind backlash & leveling a series 1-1 does not give you the satisfaction of a win. Hafeez kept his nerves & Malik has always been a T20 player keeping his Sialkot Stallions performance in mind. By the way Afridi had come out to play football. Hahahahahah. Very nice.

  • Chandru on December 26, 2012, 2:30 GMT

    Ishant's behavior was atrocious. Let him just concentrate on his bowling and try to impress with it. It was very, very nice to see our arch rivals back playing in our country again and his senseless behavior didn't go well with the mood. This was needless Ishant! `wish, u concentrate more on your bowling than on antics like this. You first learn to bowl 140+ consistently and then do all this. No Indian would like this. Wish the board disciplines the players like Ishant fittingly and suitably. In contrast, pakistanis behaved well and were enjoying the occasion more. It's after all a game! You win some and lose some (read as, many on current form). Our team is in a transition phase and we're yet to find and settle with replacements for the retired stalwarts. In this process, we're bound to lose many. Let the fans and the media too have some patience and allow the selectors and board to experiment and find the right teams for all the formats. Let's no expect overnight miracles.

  • tp565 on December 26, 2012, 0:51 GMT

    My comment of Goodwill for India and Pakistan was ignored. Oh well. I wish you all the best of luck in the coming years.

  • shalal sadullah on December 25, 2012, 23:20 GMT

    India as a cricketing nation is on the decline. Pakistan will struggle to improve until it can host international cricket which may not and probably should not happen for some years. It doesnt matter which board or boards are at fault.Playing regular international matches could improve both teams but the only way this may happen is if it is felt to be commercially lucrative. And we can only hope that commercialism makes future tours possible. In neither country do politicians or adminstrators (and a large section of the population)have the intellectual capacity to recognise that sport could encourage peace in the region or foster tolerance and respect. If they did we probably wouldnt have had this political impasse in the first place!!

  • Javed Hason on December 25, 2012, 20:43 GMT

    Well said Yogesh. I am a UK based Pakistan fan. I only regard India as my 'cricket enemy' just as England regards Australia. Otherwise we are all human beings wishing to live with each other with peace and respect. May our battles be confined to the sports fields and may we the best of friends both on and off the field.

    I enjoyed today's game but I am sure India will hit back hard in the second game. I look forward to the next game.

  • haroon on December 25, 2012, 19:00 GMT

    someone said junaid khan to play instead of sohail tanveer,,i agree junaid is a better bowler,,but what abt batting,,sohail can get some runs

  • zahoor ahmad on December 25, 2012, 17:50 GMT

    Pakistani selectors did a big mistake to exclude Imran Nazir for India series.He is one of the best 20-20 cricketer and match winning player.

  • Chitra on December 25, 2012, 17:38 GMT

    Enough is enough. Rohit Sharma & Jadeja are just not good enough to play for India and Dhoni and selectors just don't seem to understand that. Players like Raydu and Shikhar Dhawan deserve the place and India will continue to lose matches after matches if right players are not selected. Its really shameful when decision makers with their prejudice put politics and regionalism above nation. Cricinfo please publish

  • Kausar N. Khan on December 25, 2012, 15:43 GMT

    What apathetic display by Pakistan,s top order batsmen against a mediocre Indian bowling attack . Team selectionn by PCB has been a major weakness for Pakistan . Why was Abdul Razaq excluded ?

  • Ashraf Khan Janjua on December 25, 2012, 15:31 GMT

    Why does PCB continue to exclude Abdul Razaq ? Politics has been the single biggest reason for the under performance of Pakistan in International cricket .

  • soumit on December 25, 2012, 15:18 GMT

    More than Sachin and Shahid. I would have loved to see the contest between Sachin and 2 Ws (Waquer and Wasim) in the Mid 90s when all of them were at peak of there career. We missed that.

  • Shamshad Ali Khan on December 25, 2012, 15:13 GMT

    Why is Shoaib Malik in the T 20 Team ? Is he a bowler or is he a batsman ? When was it that he performed either as a batsman or a bowler ? Also , keeping out Abdul Razaq is blunder of Himalyan proportions . He is easily the best T 20s and ODIs in Pakistan .

  • Ahsan Jamil on December 25, 2012, 14:15 GMT

    Pakistan has committed a blunder by including total non performer Shoaib Malik and down and out for several years now Afridi .

  • IndPak on December 25, 2012, 12:39 GMT

    @Kamram Abbasi - "When will the politics end and the cricket run for freedom? When will goodwill no longer be confined to a season or two?" - It will all end when there is trust and truth in what both countries claim about cross border terrorism, kashmir. etc...i can't see that happening in my life time and im only 36.

  • Sanjeeb Kumar on December 25, 2012, 9:49 GMT

    It appears that Pakistan has more at stake in cricket ties being regularly held, so much so that Dr.Abbassi would like the fixture pencilled in the two Constitution.The contrasting fate of the two Constitutions give an accurate picture of cricket in the two countries.Indian Constitution is robust institution and so is its cricket inspite of the fortunes of the cricket team.

  • Faridoon on December 25, 2012, 8:52 GMT

    @Indian. I respect your opinion to which you are fully entitled. However, do you not ever wonder (like I do) why Cricket is the only thing that is disrupted when tensions between the nations are high? Other sports like hockey and even kabbaddi are played without any hindrances. Other than sport, Pakistani and Indian artists regularly work together in either country.

    Why is only Cricket treated like the proverbial whipping boy?

  • khalil on December 25, 2012, 8:26 GMT

    we should really think of developing our pace battery. Cricket without fast bowlers has no sting.An outstanding spinner like Ajmal,Warne, Murli may be fascinating to watch but not all the spinners. And then they cann,t be match winners in each & every game. By constantly playing them ,a batsman can easily pick their line. Our aging pace battery is on the decline because of the disuse atrophy courtesy Misbah. Look forward.

  • indian on December 25, 2012, 7:51 GMT

    Yours is a journalist view. Common man in India is concerned about how nothing has been done regarding mumbai blasts accused I for one donot care about this match more than any other match. Good luck to both the teams though

  • Irtiza on December 25, 2012, 7:45 GMT

    Glad the two teams are finally playing. It's every cricketing fan's dream.

    But you give the impression that both the boards have been at fault for not having more cricket. Its a mammoth task trying to convince the BCCI to come over to Pakistan, and a task of Goliath's proportions to do it the other way round.

    I doubt the PCB has ever - or would ever - refuse a request for a bilateral series if the BCCI requested it. So the problem is more on the Indian side than on the Pakistani side.

  • Faridoon on December 25, 2012, 5:57 GMT

    It is unfortunate that so much effort is requried in putting together a series between 2 of the only 3 (Bangladesh being the 3rd) test playing nations that share a geographical border. (I have no idea how close South Africa is to Zimbabwe, or even if Zim is currently a test playing nation, but I'm feeling brave!)

    Kamran, I think a good majority, if not all, of cricket lovers from these two nations want to see a bilateral series played regularly along the lines of the Ashes, but alas, easier dreamt than done.

  • ah on December 25, 2012, 4:42 GMT

    Tendulkar was not playing ODI,s & T20 cricket since long. So Pak team should not be amused by his retirement because it will not make any difference. 2nd. Ind vs Eng is past now. Against Pak a mediocre Indian team can just rally around & give their best. So Pak Tigers . Concentrate. Don,t be distracted.

  • ahk on December 25, 2012, 4:36 GMT

    Hafeez gets stiff against Ind. He should overcome his stiffness.He talks too much & does little when required of him.He should get out of his personal likes & dislikes if he has to win in Ind.

  • akb on December 25, 2012, 4:33 GMT

    T20 cricket is a fast way forward. It has galvanized test cricket also. Brian Lara,s record of 400 is no more safe now. But why Misbah is there? I don,t understand.Although T20 seems to be dangerous for cricket in the long run but when Misbah is batting ,it seems that cricket has been put in rewind mode. Misbah should think over it.

  • ah on December 25, 2012, 4:26 GMT

    I,m a fan of Afridi. But I think he should go now. one odd good inning is not going to save him. He should not humiliate himself by clinging on to cricket when he is no more there mentally.

  • Yogesh on December 25, 2012, 3:47 GMT

    Abbasi sahab, spot on! I am a US-based supporter of the Indian team and I 100% agree that increased cricketing ties will help achieve what the two countries' politicians have not - increased mutual goodwill and, dare we hope, lasting peace? You see, when the cricketers travel to each other's countries, it helps to humanize the "other side", so to speak. You realize that they laugh and hurt and enjoy and fear and exult pretty much like you do, and that all Indians or all Pakistanis are not bad people after all! I hope the Indian people and media will accord a fond welcome everywhere off the field to the Pakistanis and that the cricket will be hard-fought but fairly played. Something much bigger than cricket will be the winner if that is the case. Let the games begin!

  • Omar on December 25, 2012, 3:08 GMT

    Nice articel Kamran but the reality of truth is that Pakistan cricket is over reliant on Indian cricket and its support. If not true, then why is PCB and the Pakistani cricketers so over zealous to play in the rubbish IPL tournament(s)? Why is PCB adamant on the Indian cricket team to visit Pakistan?? Synopsis: Why is Pakistan cricket(ers) even bothered with playing with the Indian cricketers? When we atart giving them the cold shoulder, then only they will coming themselves requesting a series with Pakistan cricket. Our cricketers greed is famous (fixing, Akmal's double digit bangalows in Lahore, malls, etc etc) but that can easily be fixed, IF PCB really wants to fix the issue. My name is Omar, residing in the USA and sick of seeing Pakisan crickets playing with the masses sentiments!!!

  • line.and.length on December 24, 2012, 23:32 GMT

    As a cricket lover, I am excited that these two great cricketing nations will be locking horns against each other again.... but as a citizen of the world (Australian), I think it's appalling that the sport that I am so passionate about and the people of both of these countries are so wonderfully crazy about, is used by the politicians as a game against each other to win political points.. and the losers end up being the people who they are apparently trying to represent and are supposed to fight for.. and the biggest loser is world cricket...good luck to both teams, and whoever wins the real winner will be cricket

  • Syed J. Ahmed on December 24, 2012, 22:48 GMT

    Yes we do. I would look forward to a Ind Pak series in UAE or UK

  • tp565 on December 24, 2012, 22:25 GMT

    Nice sentiments there Kamran.

    It's maybe a naive and idealistic desire to see both nations resolve their complex political histories using this wonderful sport as a driver.... I'm with you on that!

    It's been too long (apart from those matches mentioned) and the sport is poorer without more frequent Clashes of the Titans. I'm thrilled this match will be beamed live into Australia. I'll stay up for sure.

    Best of luck to both sides... and a Merry Christmas/Festive Season to you Kamran and all the people and fans of India and Pakistan.

  • Mahendra on December 24, 2012, 21:40 GMT

    Looking at our history, what "Practical" hope can one have from this tournament? If you do referrendum across India, I guarantee you that majority have no interest in playing with Pakistan. If not world, at least India must stop dealing with Pakistan till concrete changes are seen on the ground. We understand that Pakistan is in grip by Talibans, but that's their problem, we (India) have no interest.

  • ss on December 24, 2012, 21:24 GMT

    Is sport bigger than nation?

  • Nasser Ali Khan on December 24, 2012, 21:09 GMT

    This article makes it very clear, most would agree, that basically the fierce rivalry between Pakistan & India is very welcome as it creates a lot of added interest and increases economic activity for both nations. Unfortunately, a substantial part of it is based on bitterness and it should be removed by mutual understanding that we are all humans at the end of the day. There should be fairness and understanding based on empathy for each other. Only then can this rivalry be based on more solid ground of competition but based on mutual respect. Inshallah that day will come soon.

  • Venky on December 24, 2012, 20:38 GMT

    With all due respect, one disagrees. The political collective of the country is hell bent on hurting the other's prosperity mainly grown out of jealousy (hiding under religious beliefs). Sports, especially of such high visibility, just further ferments that hatred, dislike. Once watching a hockey game between the rivals, the umpires, the spectators were so biased that the game was brought to its knees. Once the ball crossed the half-line, the umpires took over and called fouls. In cricket, it happened the same way especially during the 70s, 80s. Especially during the tour under Srikkanth. In Srinagar the locals were cheering for India's failure. One would not reopen the wounds and bring back ugly past to the forefront. Cricket is actually doing more damage than good. The elites believe it is healing while they wine-n-dine. The common man faces the reality when an argument escalates. Please stop this preaching. The divide is too deep, too well established.

  • Javed Hasan on December 24, 2012, 19:46 GMT

    It is good Pakistan is playing India . Should be an interesting match . India,s trump card is likely to be Shoaib Malik,s inclusion in the Yeam . One of the biggest question marks is the exclusion of the presently best. Player for T 20s and ODIs Abdul Razaq . Is it that Misbah and Hafeez are scared he will excell and steel the show ? Give him half a chance he will .

  • Raafey on December 24, 2012, 17:27 GMT

    huh... indo-pak exciting yet a big system eror

    (Pakistani)

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • Raafey on December 24, 2012, 17:27 GMT

    huh... indo-pak exciting yet a big system eror

    (Pakistani)

  • Javed Hasan on December 24, 2012, 19:46 GMT

    It is good Pakistan is playing India . Should be an interesting match . India,s trump card is likely to be Shoaib Malik,s inclusion in the Yeam . One of the biggest question marks is the exclusion of the presently best. Player for T 20s and ODIs Abdul Razaq . Is it that Misbah and Hafeez are scared he will excell and steel the show ? Give him half a chance he will .

  • Venky on December 24, 2012, 20:38 GMT

    With all due respect, one disagrees. The political collective of the country is hell bent on hurting the other's prosperity mainly grown out of jealousy (hiding under religious beliefs). Sports, especially of such high visibility, just further ferments that hatred, dislike. Once watching a hockey game between the rivals, the umpires, the spectators were so biased that the game was brought to its knees. Once the ball crossed the half-line, the umpires took over and called fouls. In cricket, it happened the same way especially during the 70s, 80s. Especially during the tour under Srikkanth. In Srinagar the locals were cheering for India's failure. One would not reopen the wounds and bring back ugly past to the forefront. Cricket is actually doing more damage than good. The elites believe it is healing while they wine-n-dine. The common man faces the reality when an argument escalates. Please stop this preaching. The divide is too deep, too well established.

  • Nasser Ali Khan on December 24, 2012, 21:09 GMT

    This article makes it very clear, most would agree, that basically the fierce rivalry between Pakistan & India is very welcome as it creates a lot of added interest and increases economic activity for both nations. Unfortunately, a substantial part of it is based on bitterness and it should be removed by mutual understanding that we are all humans at the end of the day. There should be fairness and understanding based on empathy for each other. Only then can this rivalry be based on more solid ground of competition but based on mutual respect. Inshallah that day will come soon.

  • ss on December 24, 2012, 21:24 GMT

    Is sport bigger than nation?

  • Mahendra on December 24, 2012, 21:40 GMT

    Looking at our history, what "Practical" hope can one have from this tournament? If you do referrendum across India, I guarantee you that majority have no interest in playing with Pakistan. If not world, at least India must stop dealing with Pakistan till concrete changes are seen on the ground. We understand that Pakistan is in grip by Talibans, but that's their problem, we (India) have no interest.

  • tp565 on December 24, 2012, 22:25 GMT

    Nice sentiments there Kamran.

    It's maybe a naive and idealistic desire to see both nations resolve their complex political histories using this wonderful sport as a driver.... I'm with you on that!

    It's been too long (apart from those matches mentioned) and the sport is poorer without more frequent Clashes of the Titans. I'm thrilled this match will be beamed live into Australia. I'll stay up for sure.

    Best of luck to both sides... and a Merry Christmas/Festive Season to you Kamran and all the people and fans of India and Pakistan.

  • Syed J. Ahmed on December 24, 2012, 22:48 GMT

    Yes we do. I would look forward to a Ind Pak series in UAE or UK

  • line.and.length on December 24, 2012, 23:32 GMT

    As a cricket lover, I am excited that these two great cricketing nations will be locking horns against each other again.... but as a citizen of the world (Australian), I think it's appalling that the sport that I am so passionate about and the people of both of these countries are so wonderfully crazy about, is used by the politicians as a game against each other to win political points.. and the losers end up being the people who they are apparently trying to represent and are supposed to fight for.. and the biggest loser is world cricket...good luck to both teams, and whoever wins the real winner will be cricket

  • Omar on December 25, 2012, 3:08 GMT

    Nice articel Kamran but the reality of truth is that Pakistan cricket is over reliant on Indian cricket and its support. If not true, then why is PCB and the Pakistani cricketers so over zealous to play in the rubbish IPL tournament(s)? Why is PCB adamant on the Indian cricket team to visit Pakistan?? Synopsis: Why is Pakistan cricket(ers) even bothered with playing with the Indian cricketers? When we atart giving them the cold shoulder, then only they will coming themselves requesting a series with Pakistan cricket. Our cricketers greed is famous (fixing, Akmal's double digit bangalows in Lahore, malls, etc etc) but that can easily be fixed, IF PCB really wants to fix the issue. My name is Omar, residing in the USA and sick of seeing Pakisan crickets playing with the masses sentiments!!!