Thursday, February 16, 2006

would india pak cricket be the same ?

“Look at what he is doing!”
mom screamed at the sight of her small kid and beseeched her husband to intervene.
Dad rushed out of his seat to his kid
“drop it, that’s not ours…. ... throw it .. throw it”

Small kid who was engrossed all by himself now became adamant with the fear of relinquishing his possession that he had managed to secure. His son’s defiance was now embarrassing Sardar dad. After all, his patriotic credibility was at stake. Being Sardar, fiercely loyalty came naturally to him. Saradar was exasperated and started snatching the annoying possession from his son’s hand. Kid started showing his tantrums by clinging to what he was holding. When Sardar realized that people all around him were having a hearty laugh. He was relieved and let his small son continue with his prized possession.

The prized possession was a Pakistani flag that his son managed to retrieve where India Pakistan match was progressing.

This incident happened at India Pakistan match played in Muscat in 1992. Those were the days when India Pakistan match would bring intensity mixed with a degree of hostility. Despite being friendly match, fans from both sides were vociferous and made sure they huddled together with compatriots. Only neutral places like Sharjah, Toronto provided an opportunity to display frenzied emotions from ardent fans from both sides. How the situation has changed in just few years.

Third one day at Lahore had large contingent of India fans. Some of them were spectacularly and comically dressed from Mysore Turban to Mahabharata costumes. Everyone had India flag - be it in form of Sikh turban, tattoo on face. 4,000 Indian fans out of capacity of 25,000 made it nearly 20% crowd. Ramiz rightly termed it as Mini India. It was unthinkable few years ago that Indian flags would be fluttering in cricket stadium in Pakistan. When Sachin got out on 95, Pathan laborer next to me at Food court in Dubai was rejoiced but commented to his friend “I wish he had got out after his century.”

Today, India Pakistan match still bring best of cricketing abilities but frenzy emotions are dwindling. Adulation of quality performance on the field has a fair degree of bipartisan approach by fans from both sides.
However, without that degree of hostility, would India Pakistan cricket match be the same as was in 90’s?

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