Cricket is one of the best-loved sports in South Asia - and the India-Pakistan cricket rivalry is one of the most intense of its kind in the world. A match between the two teams can attract up to a billion viewers. It is said that the enthusiasm and excitement over a Pakistan-India pairing even surpasses the passion traditionally whipped up when England plays against Australia in the Ashes series. That said, there have been long stretches without or with only very few matches played between the two countries due to the ongoing political antagonism. India and Pakistan have fought three wars, and border skirmishes in the Kashmir region are a regular problem. Most recently, India has blamed Pakistan for the attack on the Pathankot airbase in January which left seven Indian soldiers and six militants dead. Boosting overall relations Ahead of the T20 World cup, there were protests in some parts of India and the security of the cricket team became a concern for Pakistan. However, … [Read more...] about Cricket rivalry could boost India-Pakistan ties
"These attacks happen every second day in Pakistan. There isn't much to celebrate in this country, so why shouldn't we revel in the victory of our cricket team in the World Cup?" Hammad Yusuf, a university student in Karachi, told DW. Yusuf's sentiments are also reflected in the local media: There was scant coverage of the suicide bombings on two churches in Lahore's Youhanabad area on Sunday, March 15 while TV channels gave more airtime to Pakistan's qualification to the Cricket World Cup's quarter-finals in Australia-New Zealand. The cricket story also dominated social media as Pakistan's Facebook and Twitter users congratulated the national squad on its triumph over Ireland. Living in fear But for the Christian community in Pakistan, which forms 1.6 percent of the country's population, the persecution, massacres, and the legal and social discrimination in the Islamic Republic are never ending. The twin bombings in Lahore, which killed 14 people and wounded over 50, are a … [Read more...] about Lahore church attacks: A lesser story than Pakistan’s cricket triumph
Messi arrived in Kolkata on Wednesday morning to find a crowd of nearly 3,000 fans waving Argentina's flag and wearing the colors of the Albiceleste to welcome him. He was whisked away through a special exit to the hotel, much to the disappointment of the fans, though a select group of government officials and journalists were fortunate enough to get a glimpse of him either at the airport or while entering the hotel. On Friday, Lionel Messi is expected to show his magic in front of a capacity crowd at the 120,000-seat Yuba Bharati stadium. It is Argentina's first match under the team's new coach Alejandro Sabella, which will ensure the world's attention. For the soccer fans of Kolkata, it is a chance to witness one of the "gods" of the game in action. Kolkata has accorded Pele and Maradona even greater triumphs in the past, but both were already legends by the time they came to the eastern metropolis. The 24-year-old Messi is captaining his national team against Venezuela, which … [Read more...] about Messi is soccer’s new messiah in cricket-mad India
On Tuesday, Tim May, chief executive of the Federation of International Cricketers Associations (FICA), said he had advised the associations' members not to take part in Pakistan's "Twenty20" (T20) Super League tournament - which is due to start in March - on security grounds. International teams have stopped visiting Pakistan to play cricket since a terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore in March 2009. Though the Sri Lankan cricketers escaped the attack on their van, the incident was enough to discourage international teams from visiting Pakistan. T20 cricket - a relatively new 20-over format of the sport - has become immensely popular in the cricketing world due to its fast pace and off-the-pitch glamour. India successfully hosts its T20 premier league - the Indian Premier League (IPL) - every year, which is a big source of income for India. Following the IPL, the Pakistani cricket board has now decided to organize its own league, offering to pay international … [Read more...] about Is Pakistan safe for international cricket?
Surely Ireland was able to upset England and Canada gave Pakistan a scare, but that was more of an exception than the norm, while associate members like Kenya, the Netherlands and Canada have been hammered in some of their games. The ICC CEO Haroon Lorgat has stated that the 2015 Cricket World Cup would be a 10 instead of 14 team event, but the ICC has so far not decided on the format and qualification process. There are 10 test playing nations who currently automatically qualify for the 50 over version of the Cricket World Cup. Ten team affair Lorgat told cricinfo.com, "Somewhere we have to make the cut-off. Who knows what that would be yet - eight or nine or seven. The cut-off means that teams ranked higher than the cut-off directly get into the World Cup. Whoever is left out goes into a qualifier. "That's where the associates get the opportunity. They (the associates) have obviously been disappointed (by a 10 team World Cup) because the more teams you make, the more … [Read more...] about The Future of the 50 Overs Cricket World Cup
It has been nearly a month since the ICC World Cup 2011 started. Generally, according to the cricket experts, the World Cup has so far lived up to the expectations. The media coverage of the World Cup has been massive across South Asia. In India, for example, it seems there is no other news except that covering the World Cup. But many people have noticed the lackluster. Is something missing in the World Cup? The interest of the Indian cricket fans soars when the "Men in Blue" have a match. Same is the case with the other World Cup hosts, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. But considering that the biggest cricketing event is being played in South Asia, one wonders why it lacks the traditional passion which the South Asian cricket fans are known for exhibiting? '50-over matches are too long' Even the ardent fans of the game are not so interested. They are waiting for the preliminaries to finish and the knockout stage to start. Siddharth Chatterjee from Kolkata told Deutsche Welle: … [Read more...] about Cricket World Cup 2001: Why the lackluster?
The colourful opening ceremony was held on Thursday at the Bangabandhu Stadium in Dhaka where the captains of all the participating nations were driven into the stadium in a typical rickshaw. The show included elements from all the three host countries in local song and dance. The event ended with a fireworks display after Canadian singer Bryan Adams took center stage with his classic hit "Summer of ‘69". The three Test playing nations India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh will be co-hosting the 10th Cricket World Cup under the One-Day International format of 50 Overs. Originally the tournament was supposed to have been co-hosted by four nations, but Pakistan was stripped of its rights to play co-host to the event after an attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore in 2009. It was felt that Pakistan was too instable politically and that security could not be guaranteed. Prize money The International Cricket Council has decided to double the prize money in this year's … [Read more...] about Cricket World Cup kicking off
Defending champions India proved no match for Pakistan on Sunday, losing the much-awaited final game of the Champions Trophy by 180 runs at The Oval in London. Pakistan's batting tally was led by a century scored by Man of the Match Fakhar Zaman, who made 114 off 106 balls before being caught out by Ravindra Jadeja off the bowling of Hardik Pandya. Mohammad Hafeez, not out on 57, and Babar Azam, out caught after making 46, were also major contributors in the final score of 338. Chasing a challenging total, India made a faltering start, losing the wicket of Rohit Sharma on the third ball of the innings, and fell further to 6-72 by the 16th over, with left-arm paceman Mohammad Amir removing all of India's top three batsmen. Hardik Pandya caused some nervousness for the Pakistani side with his 76, but when he was run out off the bowling of Hasan Ali, India put up little more resistance, scoring just six more runs to reach 158 with 19.3 overs to spare Historic victory The victory … [Read more...] about Pakistan thrash India in cricket Champions Trophy victory
The group stage in the 2011 Cricket World Cup is over and done with after 30 days of non-stop match action across India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. The 14 participating nations were split into two groups of seven teams each with every side having to play six matches to decide the group’s outcome. After 42 matches, the top four of each group have now moved into the knockout quarterfinals with no real upsets as the top eight made it, while the quarters are set to be played from March 23 to 26. The tournament meanwhile remains wide open with all still-participating sides having a chance to win the trophy. An interesting fact to note is that no nation has been able to move into the quarterfinals with an all-win record. Group A Group A went pretty much by the book, with Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Australia and New Zealand moving on, while Zimbabwe, Canada and Kenya were eliminated. Defending champions Australia came into the group stage having not lost a game over the last few … [Read more...] about 2011 Cricket World Cup – group stage
Pakistan's Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani will travel to India to watch the India-Pakistan World Cup semifinal on Wednesday following an invitation from his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh. Many hope that cricket diplomacy can help improve the strained ties between the nuclear rivals. On Monday and Tuesday, India and Pakistan are also holding home secretary-level talks in New Delhi, which, according to first reports, seem to be making progress. "This is the start of the dialogue between the two countries," says Pakistan's high commissioner to India, Shahid Malik. "This actually will set the tone for further meetings and I am sure both the home secretary talks, followed immediately by the cricketing encounter, they all bode well for our bilateral relations." Cricket diplomacy Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's invitation to his counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani is a repeat of similar cricket diplomacy that took place twice before. In 1987, General Zia ul-Haq visited … [Read more...] about India, Pakistan snuggle up for cricket