Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here

Home > Features >

If Pakistani umpires, commentators, coaches and artists are allowed on Indian soil, why not Pakistani players?

India vs Pakistan

Pakistan toured India for two T20 Internationals and three ODIs in 2012-13 © PTI

Faisalabad Wolves were denied permission to travel to India to play the Champions League T20 2013. This isn’t the first time when political tensions have spilled on to the sport arena. Yet, only the players are the affected party as umpires, coaches and commentators from Pakistan have featured in tournaments such as the Indian Premier League (IPL). Nishad Pai Vaidya looks at the inexplicable politicisation of the game.
 
Cricket is more than a sport in the sub-continent; it is a force that unites its diverse population. However, such is the power of the sport that it could alsoalso be used as a tool to sway public opinion and, in the process, deliver a “strong message.” The Indian Government recently denied the Faisalabad Wolves visa to participate in the Champions League T20 (CLT20) 2013. This comes after weeks of uncertainty in the backdrop of frosty diplomatic relations between the two sub-continental giants. This isn’t the first time a diplomatic tiff has affected cricket; time and again bilateral ties between the two neighbours have snapped due to simmering political discontent.  But why is it that government only bars the Pakistani players in such situations?

From June 2000 to March 2003, India and Pakistan did not play against each other until relations warmed up in the mid-2000s. After India’s historic visit across the border, the two sides faced met quite regularly until 2008. Then, came the terrifying terror attacks on Mumbai, which led to another impasse. The only time they played each other was in multinational tournaments such as the World Cup or the Asia Cup. Pakistan’s tour to India in 2012-13 was seen as another positive move, until another stand-off surfaced.

Pakistani players haven’t played the Indian Premier League (IPL) after the first season. It was only during the CLT20 2012 that a Pakistani side featured in the competition. What is pertinent to note is that while the players are barred, one still finds Pakistani presence in such tournaments. Pakistani umpires, coaches and commentators from Pakistan have regularly figured in the IPL. Some of them have even been seen at India’s home fixtures. If the commentators and umpires are allowed, why are the players kept away? One fails to understand the logic behind it all. There is a clear intent to use the sport as a means to make a statement — a political one. Cricket is the most popular sport in both countries and reaches majority of their vast population. It is a matter of great pride for the players and the public to emerge triumphant in contests with their arch rivals.

It isn’t cricket alone that has borne the brunt in recent times. The Pakistan Hockey team’s visit to India was cancelled and so was a snooker tournament between the two countries.  

But what’s perplexing is that when India-Pakistan relations haven’t been at their best, artists from across the border parade their skills on Indian soil. The Indian public, in fact, does appreciates them for their talents, than snub them for their nationality.
 
Why then is sport made an exception? It’s a question that the masses still can’t find a logical answer.
 
(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_44)

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 17, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Sharjah

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 18, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Abu Dhabi

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 18, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Abu Dhabi

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 19, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Dubai

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 19, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Dubai

More

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 16, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

Kolkata Knight Riders won by 41 runs

Womens World T20, 2014

Apr 6, 2014  at Dhaka

Australia Women won by 6 wkts

T20 WC 2014

Apr 6, 2014  at Dhaka

Sri Lanka won by 6 wkts

Womens World T20, 2014

Apr 4, 2014  at Dhaka

England Women won by 9 wkts

T20 WC 2014

Apr 4, 2014  at Dhaka

India won by 6 wkts

Photos

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge play cricket

Videos

Prince William, Kate Middleton meet McGrath, Ellyse

Mumbai Indians (MI) vs Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) Live Cricket Score IPL 2014: KKR beat MI by 41 runs in tournament opener

Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2014 will look to keep integrity intact, says Shane Watson

IPL 2014: Life after Sachin Tendulkar

IPL 2014: Kolkata Knight Riders’ all-rounders hold key to success

IPL: What value does a franchisee owner bring to the side by sitting in the dugout?

Australia BCCI England India IPL IPL 7 IPL 2014 Kolkata Knight Riders Lasith Malinga Moments in history Mumbai Indians Mumbai Indians vs Kolkata Knight Riders Royal Challengers Bangalore Sachin Tendulkar

IPL 2014 partners with Twitter to bring real-time experience to fans

Sunil Narine, Jacques Kallis star in Kolkata Knight Riders’ 41-run victory against Mumbai Indians in IPL 2014

Mumbai Indians (MI) vs Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), IPL 2014: Mumbai Indians 113/5 in 18 overs

Mumbai Indians (MI) vs Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), IPL 2014: Mumbai Indians 95/2 in 15 overs

IPL 2014: Sunil Gavaskar meets team captains and former players

IPL 2014: Begins yet another Controversy Premier League

Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2014 will look to keep integrity intact, says Shane Watson

IPL 2014: Life after Sachin Tendulkar

IPL 2009: Looking at events that led to T20 extravaganza being held in South Africa

IPL 2014: Top 10 Indian youngsters to watch out for

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

622 Posts | 7 Fans

Video Highlights: Virat Kohli's 77 during India vs Sri Lanka ICC World T20 2014 final at Dhaka

Know your medical terms: Edema

IPL 2014: How does the umpire cam work?

Alastair Cook celebrates birth of first child with century

Bengali film Jaatishwar bags four National Awards

IPL 2014: 5 tips to use your smartphones to click pictures in a stadium

How did Kangana Ranaut redefine phasion, fun and gun in Revolver Rani?

Stay healthy with these 8 summer foods (Gallery)

IPL 2014 partners with Twitter to bring real-time experience to fans

Also on cricketcountry.com