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Friday, March 06th, 2009 | Author:

I have grown up watching the gentleman’s game in an era, which is still considered the golden decade in the history of Indian cricket. It was the 80’s. We didn’t have a television in our home then when we the underdogs beat West Indies. I also was very young to remember how the celebrations could have shaped up in that period. The baby boomers of India must have had their times. Kapil Dev, Sunny, Kris, Vengsarkar, they were the legends. The images of that moment have embedded a deep memory inside. The crowd easily mingled with the players and the players in return happily enjoying ecstasy, flowing champagne and a strange amalgamation of unity among all. Kris Srikkant smoked a fag while watching his team mates lifting the trophy.

My room mate woke me up on March 3 only to tell that the Sri Lankan team is under fire by militants in Pakistan. Some of them injured. The sad incident was being compared to the ’72 Munich massacre when Palestinian terror groups held athletes. An ungentlemanly event has triggered round of protest, anger and disdain among the global cricketing body. To an extent that Pakistan is completely isolated when coming close to cricketing relations. We have refrained our team to travel Pakistan, once in 2004 and second in 2009, both in view of tensions escalating between the two countries. A military helicopter airlifts panicky Lankan cricketers from a Lahore stadium should be the last thing I’ve imagined in this game. But then anything is possible. Pakistan appears to have a rough time, In Peshawar March 5 a 17th century mausoleum of a Pashto poet Abdul Rahman was blown up by neo- fundamentalists because women formed a part of visitors streaming everyday.
I am fumed after getting to know that cricket is an “un-islamic” game labelled by these fanatics. We are forced to live in a time where terror, politics and religion can mix in the same time laced with deadly gun powder. Isolating Pakistan is not the solution. Cricket is receiving an un-natural death and was once considered as Pakistan’s soft power towards peace. Not any more!

My father should be deeply saddened by what is happening these days to cricket. The IPL – Indian Professional League should be played under unprecedented security. And unlike the 80’s cricket players are prized catch today. Nothing much to say, but games and politics should be set apart.