18 January, 2021

All-White Shroud

If politics can't stanch the flow of terror, cricket will be a collateral casualty

All-White Shroud
Among the cherished memories of my life is the warmth shown by the crowd at the Qaddafi Stadium in Lahore towards us Indian journalists, when our cricketers were playing a Test series in Pakistan in 2004. We were mobbed and even our autographs were sought. That tour became a redefining event in the strife-torn relationship between the two nations—and cricket and its burgeoning economy received a further boost. Today, that billion-dollar industry, which drew its strength from an unprecedented economic growth and promise of relative peace in the region, lies in tatters.

The attack on the Sri Lankan players has struck at the heart of cricket and its economy, with India at its centre. What the terrorists set out to achieve when they brought Mumbai to its knees has been completed by this one audacious attack in Lahore. When people like us advocated not mixing politics with sport and using sporting contacts to strengthen people-to-people interaction, we were happily willing to be called bleeding hearts. The faith that terrorists could never harm...



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