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Millennium Post

Fight on the cricket field, not border

Come December 2015, and there will be the much-awaited India-Pakistan series – the first of the six series scheduled between the two countries during the eight-year future tours programme cycle from 2015 to 2023.

The ongoing political efforts between the two nations to normalise relations seems to have paved the way for the resumption of such a series. Talks have been on between the two cricket boards ever since Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif attended the oath-taking ceremony of his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi. The bonhomie seems to be flourishing with the very recent incident of Pakistan returning a BSF jawan who had been swept away by the strong currents of the Chenab river in Jammu’s Akhnoor sector to Pakistan.

The stage is set for high-voltage action that includes 12 Tests, 30 ODIs and 11 Twenty20s. The first of these, likely to be a home series for Pakistan, could be played in the UAE and is expected to comprise two Tests, five ODIs and two T20s.

Any Indo-Pak match is bound to witnesses excitement, tension and uncontrollable emotions with the self-proclaimed protagonists confining their interests and energies only to such national upsurges, springing into action either during such crucial Indo-Pak ties or the elections. Keeping in mind the frenzy and the hysteria, reports suggest that the BCCI has been careful to add a clause in the MoU that all the series will be played ‘subject to government clearance’. A series between India and Pakistan is not decided by the cricket boards alone. The governments and the political climate is the deciding factor. Therefore, the FTP is likely to be converted into a binding agreement on the sidelines of the next ICC board meeting in October.

Former cricket greats of Pakistan have welcomed the move and are of the opinion that ‘the demand for the India-Pakistan series has gone so high that it has left behind Ashes in terms of popularity.’ Thus, it is for the good of those thousands of fanatic supporters of India and Pakistan who will witness this revival of rivalry. And who knows, it might just trigger more friendlier terms between the arch-rivals after such on-field nail-biting cliffhangers.
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