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ESSAY : ‘Cricket’ created ‘Fraternity’
Saturday, 15 June 2013 05:37


‘Cricket’ created ‘Fraternity’

“After 15 long years and much hobbling Indian Cricket team embarked on the historic tour to Pakistan in March 2004. A lot of hitch prevailed upon the decision of sending India Cricket team to Pakistan for security and safety reasons, but thanks to the prudency and statesmanship of Mr. Vajpayee that Indian Cricket team could visit Pakistan and not 0nly won the cricket matches but also the soul and heart of the Pakistani people”.

After partition, it was the first time when thousands of Indian poured into Pakistan by road, rail and by air to watch the India-Pak ODI and Test Series.

Kudos to the people of Pakistan who welcomed every Indian with such affability and geniality that had no parallel since partition. Even the long history of cricket matches between the two countries never and such a praise and admiration which made everyone believe as if two brothers are playing and vying to win without any animosity towards each other. The cricket match between India and Pakistan which had earlier been played like a war and with an hysteria over victory and defeat. The spirit of sportsmanship was always lacking when India and Pakistan were face to face in Cricket ground. The win or defeat was always witnessed as gain or loss of pride of the country, such was an attitude of the players, of the people of both the countries, but this tour of Indian Cricket team has altogether changed the scenario. At the Gaddaffi stadium, the Indians and Pakistanis sat together, enjoyed together, cheered together and jointly carried the flags of the two countries stitched together. Many young Pakistani girls were the flag colour of the both the countries on their faces. A six or four by an Indian player earned the same applause as by a Pakistan player,. Fifty or Century by a player of any country was given same clapping’s and thumping. The team mates of Indian side were seemed earlier worried for their safety and security, enjoyed the cricket and hospitality in such a manner that was never imagined in their dreams on the soil of Pakistan.

Before embarking on its historic tour of Pakistan, Sourav Gaugualy and his team called on the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee in New Delhi on March 10, 2004. The prime minister blessed the team: “Khel hi nahi, dil bhi jeetiy- Shub Kammanyen”. (win not only the game but hearts too- best wishes). The Prime Minister’s exhortation came in the form of an inscription on a cricket bat. The Indian cricket team also presented the Prime Minister a bat, autographed by the entire team. On the same day Mr. Imran Khan, the Ex Captain of Pakistani Team, said that the wished that this tour of Indian team could help in healing the bitter divide between the two neighbours. A feel Good Factor seemed working in both the countries.

After Indian team won the first one day test, an excited Mr. Vajpayee said, “When 11 players play together victory is certain. There is no reason for victory to elude us when 100 crore people take a pledge”.

Laurels to Pakistani President Gen. Pervej Musharraf who hosted a reception for the Indian team in his Presidential Mansion in Islamabad on March 17, 2004. The President astonished the Indian players by recalling some of their best performances he had seen in the past. He was all praise for Tndulkar’s batting skill and Balaji’s blitzkrieg against the fast bowler Shoaib Akhatr in the match the previous day. The President hosted the reception at the Banquet Hall, usually reserved for visiting Heads of Government. The magnanimous attitudes of the President indeed cleaned bold every player and won their humours and good wishes for the peace and tranquility in the subcontinents.

Undoubtedly this tour of Indian team of Pakistan would positively help the two countries forge their friendly ties and brought people of the two countries together. It was observed and felt by every Indian visited Pakistan that the culture, language, traditions of both the countries is too identical to make a difference. A sikh from Punjab put things in the characteristic homer of Sardas, How does one figure out who is an Indian and who is an Pakistani? Same look, same language, same food, same dishes, same dressing patter, same traditions, when almost all things are same, why the blood of innocent peoples are being shed for the communal and political needs of the few.

India and Pakistan had played 86 one day internationals and 47 test matches prior to this tour, every match was like war being fought for the honour of the nations, but this tour of Indian cricket team to Pakistan opened new vistas of friendship, fraternity if not between the rulers but between the people of both the nations. A new light emerging in Indo-Pak relations in the wake of present friendly tour, said well known Pakistani supporter popularly known as Chacha.

One Pakistani fan said, “We are going to prove to Indians that not all of us are Al Queda or Jehadis. Moreover the generation has changed; my generation didn’t witness the barbarity of partition and savage of Indo-Pak War. It is an educated peace loving, career oriented generation who wants love for love affection for affection.”

Almost all the Indian visitors confessed that they would treasure the experience of a life time- the love and hospitality shown by the common people of Pakistan. This is the need of hour that the leaders of both the countries particularly the leaders of is the need of hour that the leaders of both the countries particularly the leaders of Pakistan must understand and realize that for the betterment and prosperity of the nation for the well beings of the people, they must keep aside the matters of dispute nation for the well beings of the people, they must keep aside the matters of dispute and go together to harness the booty of globalization with sincere efforts and open heart. The cricket has paved the path, the leaders are to move forward in the direction of peace, progress and prosperity.




 

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