Former international diplomat Shashi Tharoor has expressed his disappointment at India-Pakistan cricket matches not taking place as frequently as before. Tharoor attributed the same to the intense political tensions between India and Pakistan that gave way to the cricketing ties not happening too. The prominent figure, however, expects to improve the relations gradually.
India and Pakistan have not engaged in a bilateral series since 2012. It was in 2012 that Pakistan arrived in India to compete in a white-ball series that went reasonably well for the tourists. As of now, the arch-rivals only square off in ICC tournaments.
The increased political face-offs combined with military clashes between them have made it almost improbable to resume cricketing activities anytime soon between the two neighbouring countries.
Shashi Tharoor began by saying that cricket will follow diplomacy; however, not spearhead it. He continued by saying that the animosity between the two nations has only affected cricket while other sports like in hockey, kabaddi, India and Pakistan have competed. Hence, Tharoor has questioned why there exists no visibility in cricket and it shares the burden of political conflicts.
“I’ve written that cricket will follow diplomacy and not lead it. But the current negativism about India-Pakistan cricket expects cricket to bear an unfair share of the burden. Other sports like hockey and kabaddi have taken place, but no bilateral cricket has been played because of the visibility of cricket,” the Indian politician told Sportskeeda.
Shashi Tharoor anticipates for the relations to improve after the countries restore ambassadorial context:
The 64-year-old Tharoor asserted that if India and Pakistan could maintain the diplomacy, they should also be to keep going the cricketing ties and that there’s no reason to hold cricket higher than diplomacy.
Tharoor highlighted that now it has become irreparable since they have withdrawn ambassadors from each other’s countries. Hence, the moment the nations decide to restore peace at the ambassadorial level, they should upgrade the atmosphere with cricket too.
“If you can conduct your normal diplomatic relations, why can’t you conduct your normal cricketing relations? Why should cricket be held to a higher standard than diplomacy?
“Now of course, relations have become worse and we’ve withdrawn ambassadors from each other’s countries. Once the countries decide that they will restore ambassadorial level context, we should also try to improve the atmosphere with cricket,” Shashi Tharoor concluded.