Bangalore: The government of India has announced that India will not be participating in the One-day series against Pakistan, scheduled for Toronto. This, besides raising many posers, also forces one to examine the very definition of autonomous functioning of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
Is the government in order, in deciding on the participation or otherwise of the Indian cricket team? Especially after the commitment the BCCI has given the organisers of the One-day series at Toronto.
There is a lot of talk of sports being a medium to build bridges between the countries and the peoples of the world. Yes, in most of the cases this is true and a lot of rivalry can be sorted out in the middle. In such cases, sports acts more as an outlet for the emotive feelings of the people of the respective countries.
There are many examples of traditional rivalry between countries; Australia and New Zealand, Australia and England are some examples of cricketing rivalry between countries. Australians by nature are tough on the field and in any match against the Kiwis, there are no quarters sought and no quarters given.
These matches can be fiercely competitive with no holds barred. But there is a big difference between fierce competition amongst traditional rivals and a feeling bordering on hatred, as between enemies.
An India-Pakistan match, always seem to generate a lot of heat. The spectators' expectations are high and the stakes involved in terms of national pride are higher. The tension filled atmosphere pervades the stadium when the two teams "battle it out in the middle".
The facial expressions of most of the players is a virtual tell tale of the state of mind, somewhat akin to goose flesh and butterflies in the stomach. The atmosphere out in the middle is surcharged leading to verbal duels between players.