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Cricket crazy Indians reject proposed bilateral series, #NoCricketWithPakistan trends

Photo courtesy: Indian Express
Photo courtesy: Indian Express
Photo courtesy: Indian Express

Pakistan chose the worst possible day to announce their readiness to play a bilateral cricket series with India – 26/11.

That forces within Pakistan were complicit in the planning and execution of the November 26 attacks is common knowledge in India. Pakistan, however, has always maintained innocence. And that is a bone of contention that transcends even cricket.

The wounds of the ghastly terror attack on Mumbai on the same day in 2008 are still fresh in the Indian psyche. Cricket lovers around the country, who so vehemently advocate so-called “cricket diplomacy” – where the game acts as a dialogue to soothe frayed nerves on either side of the contentious border – have rejected outright a series with Pakistan.

In Pakistan, Prime Minsiter Nawaz Sharif granted permission to the Pakistan Cricket Board to go ahead with the bilateral series against India in Sri Lanka.

In India, the hashtag #NoCricketWithPakistan began trending on social media.

“Series on” It was reported that both PCB and the Indian cricket board (BCCI) had approached their respective governments for clearance, after mutually agreeing to a series. In fact, IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla all but confirmed the series: “India-Pakistan series will happen tentatively from Dec 15 in Sri Lanka. Both the countries have agreed upon it,” Shukla told ANI. However, while Pakistan is ready to play their part, the Indian government seems to have taken notice of the public uproar against the bilateral series. “No decision yet” Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) official spokesperson Vikas Swarup took to Twitter to relay the government’s stand:

“Let’s play”

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s T20 captain Shahid Afridi was in favour of resuming cricketing ties with India, irrespective of politics.

“I think cricket should go on between Pakistan and India because it creates good contacts,” Afridi said. “Wherever or whenever, cricket should go on.”

Pakistan and India last featured in a series in 2012, playing three ODIs and two T20s. however, they haven’t played a Test against each other since 2007. If this series were to go ahead, the two rivals will possibly play three ODIs and two T20s again.

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