Three ODIs along with two T20 matches have been scheduled between the two biggest rivals of world cricket, India and Pakistan. With the matches being scheduled during England break in the middle of its India tour, it is not going to be an easy task for the Indian players, as they would not have much time to rest ahead of the crucial clash. The England team will take a break from December 23, 2012 and come back to India only on January 3, and will play their first ODI on January 11, 2013. The India-Pakistan series starts on December 25, 2012 and ends on January 7, 2013.
Abhinav further said, “It is going to take a huge toll on the players. Matches are played in different venues and travelling time will make it harder. Indo-Pak matches sap the energy of a player.” The series might also have a direct impact on the ODIs against England preceding the Pakistan series. Abhinav puts it straight, “If they lose against Pakistan, their confidence level will go down and the English tour might be hampered.”
But, it is a case of a India-Pakistan tie, so neither players nor officials would complain about it, especially, as it is being played after a long time. The decision has been taken by the Indian government after consultations with BCCI representatives.
Another Indian fan, Nishath Nizar told this citizen journalist, “It is a game of power and politics. On one hand we have the BCCI and the Indian government on the other. BCCI is just moving according to the government, but you never know.” The BCCI has always been a stern body, who has never been dominated by the Indian government. Chetan Chauhan further added, “The series is a step towards improvement between two nations, India and Pakistan and it will also develop people to people contact”. People from across the Indian border are also expected to come for the tour and support their team, which would make a wonderful sight with Pakistan and Indian citizens seated in the same stadium.
Shiv Sunny, a resident of India held a different view. “Any attempts at normalising relations with Pakistan is politically damaging in my opinion. Most of the Indians are jingoistic and view Pakistan as an enemy state. Any attempts to reconcile with Pakistan will be looked by most as anti India. Be it in terms of political relations or cricket relations. Don't some Indian political parties thrive on bad relations between the two nations? So, I think any genuine attempt by the Indian government at improving ties with Pakistan should be seen as a courageous move.”
All in all, it is time for politics to move aside, and enmity that exists between the two should have an outlet on the cricket ground and not off it.