Pakistan and the IPL


by Rumbold
22nd January, 2010 at 2:26 am    

Indo-Pak relations have soured once again after the Indian Premier League’s auction of cricket players failed to produce a single bid for a Pakistani cricketer. This was in spite of the fact that Pakistan can boast some of the world’s top cricketers. One IPL grandee claimed it was because they were unsure whether or not they could get visas for Pakistan players. Yet surely the Indian government could have confirmed or denied this before the auction? More plausible was the reason given by an unnamed source:

But another franchise official – who said there had been no formal ban by the Indian authorities – told the Hindustan Times: “The IPL is a commercial proposition, owned by businessmen and no one wanted to risk upsetting the government.”

Is if this true, then it is wrong-headed on a number of levels. Apart from the sporting angle, diplomatically it is also foolish, as it has antagonised Pakistan for no reason. Sport can be a divider (see Egypt and Algeria), but more often than not it brings them a bit closer (‘soft diplomacy’). I can’t see the rationale behind it.


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  1. Vikrant — on 22nd January, 2010 at 2:42 am  

    as it has antagonised Pakistan for no reason.

    While I couldn’t care less about IPL, Pakistan could do well by dismantling its military-jihadi complex which has been directly or indirectly responsible for murder of thousands of Indians rather than fret over these perceived slights!

  2. Sear — on 22nd January, 2010 at 6:33 am  

    “but more often than not it brings them a bit closer (’soft diplomacy’)”

    You play sport and get closer after a period of cooling down, not in the middle of a war and atrocities. Can you imagine US playing sport with the Taliban (which formed the government of Afghanistan at the time) in the aftermath of 9/11? People in India have not gotten over 26/11 yet. It was beyond anything civilized. It showed absolute hate and contempt for the very lives of Indians. Sport is not going to improve things here, at least at this point of time and ithout any action on the part of Pakistan to bring the perpetrators to book and shun such horrendous policies of using terrorism to justify ends. Pakistan should decide whether it wants any relations with India at all or not. You can only push upto a point. Beyond that it snaps.

  3. Ali — on 22nd January, 2010 at 7:08 am  

    Quite a shoddy way to deal with it all.

    If the franchises had agreed beforehand not to bid for any Pakistanis then the Pak players should never have been invited to the auction in the first place.

    And now we have Pakistani players like Sohail Tanvir venting their anger and being a bigot on national TV:-

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kuBlHHqfIuY

    @ 4.20 “hinduon ke jehniyaat hi aisi hai,dikha di ab kya kar sakte hai” (The hindu mentality is like this,they have shown it,what can we do?)

  4. platinum786 — on 22nd January, 2010 at 8:32 am  

    lol, 26/11. Ajmal Kasab himself has said that 3 of the 9 attackers were Indian, it was an Al Queda operation, not something the GoP is responsible for. For some reason some people think Al Queda is to Pakistan what Blackwater is to the USA.

    It may come as news to you but we’re actually fighting a war against terrorism, where in the last few years nearly 8,000 Pakistani’s have been killed by terrorists, more victims than any other country in the world. Take a look at this, the majority of the victims are from the NWFP a region most people assume to be full of backward terrorists rather than it’s victims.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Violence_in_Pakistan_2006-09

    This is not the first irrational movement in India. Recently India’s army chief was posturing suggesting India is ready to taken on Pakistan and China in a war simultaneously, a claim not only obsurd, but rather out of place, considering when everyone in the region is trying to work towards peace.

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Army-reworks-war-doctrine-for-Pakistan-China/articleshow/5392683.cms

    Also and more worryingly than the hot air, India has started the cross border shelling along the international border again, recently killing a pakistani soldier.

    If this attitude from India continues, then the IPL may be the last of anyones worries.

  5. Rumbold — on 22nd January, 2010 at 9:38 am  

    Vikrant and Sear:

    Pakistan’s behaviour in this instance is irrelevent. A more peaceful region benefits the vast majority of people living there. Sport is one area where co-operation can happen without worrying about losing face.

  6. Random Guy — on 22nd January, 2010 at 9:41 am  

    Its obvious that the Indians are too scared of the competition, so they would use any excuse ;)

    Seriously though, this is both sad and shocking. Cue a whole new spiral of anti-Indian plus anti-Pakistani sentiment – probably both at home and abroad.

  7. Blah Blah — on 22nd January, 2010 at 10:51 am  

    Frankly speaking it would be better if the Pakistanis dont come…coz if they came to a place like Mumbai, the reception would have been not at all pleasant[ and i dont mean political parties here]. It would be better if Pakistan first stops exporting terrorism and then think of playin in IPL…

  8. Blah Blah — on 22nd January, 2010 at 10:57 am  

    And i saw the video abt Sohail Tanvir….clearly shows his mentality when he can comment so confidently abt an entire community….Hope he never ever plays in India again…!

  9. Vikrant — on 22nd January, 2010 at 11:16 am  

    It may come as news to you but we’re actually fighting a war against terrorism, where in the last few years nearly 8,000 Pakistani’s have been killed by terrorists

    You fail to acknowledge that these militants are pretty much the same dogs cultivated by the military establishment in Pakistan to bleed India by a thousand cuts. While Indian people by and large do sympathise with the common Pakistani, they are well aware that Pakistani military-jihadi is in no mood to stop baying for Indian blood. As far as working towards peace goes, bombing Indian embassies is certainly a Pakistani way of going about it innit? Having a lasting peace with India, would actually put Pakistani military out of business precisely the reason they refuse to act against “useful jihadis” i.e. LeT JeM et al.

    A more peaceful region benefits the vast majority of people living there. Sport is one area where co-operation can happen without worrying about losing face.

    Rumbold,

    I visit Western India every year (Maharashtra and Goa). And this time i have noticed India has definitely changed forever, there is an atmosphere of fear and apprehension. You have security checkpoints outside every mall, cinema, hotel, temples and mosques. Indian people are righteously angry. And they aren’t in any mood for peace overtures with Pakistan, unless the sustained 20 year campaign, of murder and mayhem directed towards them is stopped. I personally think it was a PR decision by the teams rather than a directive by GoI.

    Peace is a two way street. To be honest i dont think, Pakistan with its multiple generations raised on anti-Indian esp. anti-Hindu rhetoric widespread in its national culture is ready for real peace with India. While India has its fair share of bigots and nutjobs. You can’t imagine Indian MSM broadcast and publish bs about any religion the way Pakistani MSM depicts Hinduism. You wouldn’t see an Indian celebrity display open bigotry on national tv without being strongly censured unlike Sohail Tanvir’s diatribe.

  10. Vikrant — on 22nd January, 2010 at 11:19 am  

    Quite a shoddy way to deal with it all.

    I would agree. But then Pakistanis should relax and stop blaming Indian govt. IPL of course is a non-state actor :P !

  11. Ali — on 22nd January, 2010 at 12:38 pm  

    hehe Vikrant.

    You got me there.

    From a Pakistani POV it’s quite ironic that the message, that Pakistani players were not welcome, was delivered by three women – Preity Zinta, Shilpa Shetty and Tina Ambani and then to top it off, Ness Wadia.

  12. kemel — on 22nd January, 2010 at 1:52 pm  

    The issues of visa’s is a valid one, the pakistani players got clearance from the PCB etc and visa’s this year but these players are ‘bought’ to cover I think a 3 year stint – whos to say that next year they would be unavailable or the year after that?

    and to borrow a phrase thats been used before the IPL franchises are ‘Non State Actors’

  13. Ravi Naik — on 22nd January, 2010 at 2:05 pm  

    Indo-Pak relations have soured once again after the Indian Premier League’s auction of cricket players failed to produce a single bid for a Pakistani cricketer.

    I would like to know which country apologises to another country for not buying their players in any sport.

  14. Indifferent — on 22nd January, 2010 at 2:39 pm  

    i fail to understand the reason for the moaning by the Pakistani cricketers, media et al. IPL is supposed to be the “Indian” Premier League where the host country “coincidentally” happens to be India. The owner’s of the franchises also “coincidentally” happen to be Indian. I dont think any Pakistani business/businessman contributes a single penny to run the IPL tamasha. So, should it not be India’s business as to whom they call to play this tamasha ???? The Pakistani’s moan sounds more like the tanturums of a spoilt kid.

  15. platinum786 — on 22nd January, 2010 at 2:52 pm  

    you can have that attitude if you like, but it’d be like not inviting Brazil to the world cup.

    Anyway, the Pakistani media has taken it badly, they’ve removed licences to broadcast the IPL.

    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/national/cable-operators-to-block-ipl-matches-210

    Quite frankly the snub will have quite the impact within Pakistani society. A lot of people have been very willing to move towards peace, those people have been critised a lot by people who say India is unwelcoming to the idea and any such moves show weakness. This snub has underlined their point.

  16. Ravi Naik — on 22nd January, 2010 at 3:59 pm  

    you can have that attitude if you like, but it’d be like not inviting Brazil to the world cup.

    Oh, they send invitations to play in the World Cup?

  17. Ravi Naik — on 22nd January, 2010 at 4:06 pm  

    My feeling is that once IPL realises how much money they are going to lose, they will open their doors to Pakistani players.

    I agree this is an ugly incident – specially if this was a coordinated attempt or revenge against the Mumbai attacks.

  18. kELvi — on 24th January, 2010 at 7:56 pm  

    I understand how this decision was made and at the same time see no malice or ill-will on the part of the IPL owners who made this decision. Among the owners are movie stars one of whom is a Track-II maven, Shilpa Shetty. But after the most active Track-II maven, Mahesh Bhatt recently got burnt in the Rana-Headly episode, filmwallahs too have cooled down about the Track-II business. The IPL owners are a motley crew – industrialists, mass media publishers, hoteliers, movie stars, old economy and new economy, North-South-East-West. 26/11 has definitely hardened attitudes in India and the public is saying – “one thing at a time. Put down terror first and then we will have diplomacy” I am just back from a visit to India and spent quite some time in TN a state I call home. There is a quiet sense of closure about the end of the LTTE. Tamilians without exception have always felt deeply grieved over the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi. As one of them put it, “How could the LTTE whom we were willing to work with abuse our generosity and kill one of our own, a former PM no less?” So while the Indian people can be generous to a fault and welcome anyone, they do expect their guests to demonstrate their convictions.

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