India must not play bilateral matches with Pak until terrorism ends

NEW DELHI | Updated: 16 September, 2023 1:05 pm IST
Cricket may transcend boundaries, but as responsible nations, we must make choices that align with our national interests and the safety of our citizens.

NEW DELHI: In light of recent events and ongoing security concerns, it is urgent that India reevaluates its stance on bilateral cricket matches with Pakistan. While cricket has the power to unite nations and transcend boundaries, it is essential to consider the larger geopolitical context and prioritize the safety and security of our citizens.

The recent Asia Cup cricket match between India and Pakistan showcased camaraderie on the field, but the tragic reality of a terrorist attack in Kashmir the very next day serves as a stark reminder of the perils of continuing these matches in such turbulent times. The absence of public condolences or solidarity from star cricketers following the attack highlights a troubling disconnect.

We must question whether cricketers who publicly support causes like “Black Lives Matter” can remain silent when our security personnel lay down their lives protecting our nation. It is a matter of reevaluating our priorities and showing unwavering support for those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

Suspending bilateral cricket matches with Pakistan is not a political decision, it is an expression of our sentiments and self-respect. It is akin to dealing with a troublesome neighbor who continually crosses boundaries. We seek intervention and caution others to maintain distance until the situation normalizes. India’s stance toward Pakistan follows a similar pattern.

READ MORE:  ‘Stop playing cricket with Pakistan’: How veterans reacted to Kashmir encounter

In addition to security concerns, there is a significant financial aspect to consider. When Pakistan plays in India, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) receives 40% of the profit, whereas when India plays in Pakistan, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) receives only 15%. This financial disparity disproportionately benefits Pakistan, and India bears the brunt of it.

To lead by example and prioritize peace and security, India should suspend bilateral cricket matches with Pakistan. While international tournaments are inevitable due to the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) structure, we can take a principled stand against bilateral matches. Our soldiers, who protect us tirelessly, deserve our unwavering support, and we must demonstrate our commitment to countering state-sponsored terrorism.

Cricket and art may transcend boundaries, but as responsible nations, we must make choices that align with our national interests and the safety of our citizens.

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