As Geff Boycott once quipped during the 1999 India-Pak Test Series at the Calcutta test match ; that an India-Pak match is a parallel war theatre with the bat and the ball instead of blowing up nuke bombs (in the aftermath of 1998 Pokhran and Chughai Hills), the psyche although is very unspotsmanlike though. A mix of market liberalism and irrational nationalism makes it the most watched sport game in the history. I enjoyed my military medium pace bowling in school and college but a proxy for the LOC is unfair. Expression of nationalism on the cricket pitch is a gross failure of confidence building measures and people to people contact between our countries separated at the hip in 1947. I played cricket with my mohajir friends from Karachi in Muscat while growing up along with folks from Kerala. It is the love of the pitch that connected us in the mixed teams that we played in. Salaam’s and Hellos flowed along with more colourful lingo.
Whether we bleed blue or bleed green, there are more important things in life to pander about like poverty eradication and healthcare access in both countries than a made up media manufactured, hype driven, gladiatorial contest at Adelaide where Srinivasan and his cronies make the moolah. We are indeed in what Braudrillard called the ‘Desert of the Real’. Enjoy the game for what it is for; instead of a metaphor for war.