The Fort Worth Press - 'War minus shooting': partition created fierce cricket rivalry

USD -
AED 3.673021
AFN 70.642244
ALL 92.090162
AMD 387.733554
ANG 1.801038
AOA 872.635017
ARS 924.686266
AUD 1.49545
AWG 1.8
AZN 1.707781
BAM 1.795712
BBD 2.01772
BDT 117.421843
BGN 1.79863
BHD 0.376624
BIF 2878.299591
BMD 1
BND 1.344259
BOB 6.905385
BRL 5.600497
BSD 0.999311
BTN 83.605013
BWP 13.532571
BYN 3.27044
BYR 19600
BZD 2.014323
CAD 1.37218
CDF 2830.000105
CHF 0.88889
CLF 0.03413
CLP 941.752743
CNY 7.270387
CNH 7.28535
COP 4046.274618
CRC 524.353854
CUC 1
CUP 26.5
CVE 101.239499
CZK 23.189039
DJF 177.927742
DKK 6.85428
DOP 59.165404
DZD 134.516825
EGP 48.245292
ERN 15
ETB 57.287059
EUR 0.918715
FJD 2.235699
FKP 0.77056
GBP 0.77431
GEL 2.714983
GGP 0.77056
GHS 15.419364
GIP 0.77056
GMD 67.805413
GNF 8602.12092
GTQ 7.764771
GYD 209.071294
HKD 7.81016
HNL 24.750494
HRK 6.90795
HTG 131.910205
HUF 358.856
IDR 16213.05
ILS 3.645115
IMP 0.77056
INR 83.72985
IQD 1309.094248
IRR 42092.498585
ISK 137.570208
JEP 0.77056
JMD 156.167654
JOD 0.708697
JPY 157.383998
KES 128.412064
KGS 84.642699
KHR 4105.954184
KMF 452.750008
KPW 900.00035
KRW 1389.751962
KWD 0.30582
KYD 0.832759
KZT 476.114401
LAK 22160.400312
LBP 89490.428316
LKR 303.401735
LRD 195.023642
LSL 18.32989
LTL 2.95274
LVL 0.60489
LYD 4.819355
MAD 9.846853
MDL 17.688105
MGA 4501.675619
MKD 56.567048
MMK 3247.960992
MNT 3450.000346
MOP 8.038011
MRU 39.433503
MUR 46.669969
MVR 15.350198
MWK 1732.819171
MXN 18.074199
MYR 4.6875
MZN 63.899991
NAD 18.32989
NGN 1605.499584
NIO 36.780976
NOK 10.895298
NPR 133.767617
NZD 1.663176
OMR 0.384639
PAB 0.999311
PEN 3.742001
PGK 3.914061
PHP 58.398
PKR 277.914888
PLN 3.937285
PYG 7556.351283
QAR 3.647248
RON 4.564639
RSD 107.469678
RUB 87.919155
RWF 1309.369692
SAR 3.750859
SBD 8.457605
SCR 14.112001
SDG 585.999802
SEK 10.657855
SGD 1.34523
SHP 0.77056
SLE 22.847303
SLL 20969.503664
SOS 571.087545
SRD 29.708044
STD 20697.981008
SVC 8.744434
SYP 2512.53037
SZL 18.333563
THB 36.337982
TJS 10.627921
TMT 3.51
TND 3.098104
TOP 2.363099
TRY 33.053501
TTD 6.786944
TWD 32.795801
TZS 2683.193316
UAH 41.463618
UGX 3692.787954
UYU 40.269935
UZS 12592.38856
VEF 3622552.534434
VES 36.560996
VND 25327.5
VUV 118.722038
WST 2.803608
XAF 602.265069
XAG 0.034225
XAU 0.000417
XCD 2.70255
XDR 0.753799
XOF 602.265069
XPF 109.498233
YER 250.350074
ZAR 18.295026
ZMK 9001.194136
ZMW 25.507965
ZWL 321.999592
  • RBGPF

    56.4600

    56.46

    +100%

  • NGG

    0.8400

    61.79

    +1.36%

  • RELX

    -0.0700

    45.01

    -0.16%

  • GSK

    -0.0100

    39.35

    -0.03%

  • CMSC

    0.0160

    24.31

    +0.07%

  • RIO

    -0.5900

    63.78

    -0.93%

  • CMSD

    -0.0200

    24.45

    -0.08%

  • RYCEF

    -0.0250

    5.785

    -0.43%

  • BTI

    0.1600

    33.2

    +0.48%

  • BP

    -0.2100

    35.38

    -0.59%

  • VOD

    -0.0500

    9.04

    -0.55%

  • BCC

    -1.2600

    130.84

    -0.96%

  • AZN

    0.6500

    78.71

    +0.83%

  • BCE

    -0.1200

    33.21

    -0.36%

  • SCS

    -0.1600

    13.54

    -1.18%

  • JRI

    0.1400

    12.42

    +1.13%

'War minus shooting': partition created fierce cricket rivalry
'War minus shooting': partition created fierce cricket rivalry / Photo: © AFP/File

'War minus shooting': partition created fierce cricket rivalry

When India and Pakistan were forged out of violent partition 75 years ago, the split also created one of sport's greatest rivalries.

Text size:

Today, any cricket match between the two nations is one of the most watched events on the global sporting calendar -- and victory used to promote their respective nationalism.

So strong is the rivalry between the countries that they can't even share the date of the partition which gave them independence, with Pakistan celebrating it on August 14 and India a day later.

"India playing Pakistan involves the sentiments of millions," said Wasim Akram, one of cricket's all-time greats and now a commentator.

"You become a hero if you perform well... you are portrayed as a villain if your team loses," said the former Pakistan skipper.

Matches ignite great fervour but they have also defused military tensions between the two nations, which have fought four wars since independence from Britain in 1947.

During one period of sabre rattling in 1987, as troops massed along their frontier, Pakistan's military ruler General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq showed up unannounced in New Delhi -- ostensibly to watch a match between the two.

The move, as crafty as any a cricket captain could conjure up on the field, led to a meeting with Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, and tensions eased.

- 'Mother of all matches' -

Still, the on-field rivalry has spilled off the cricket pitch for now.

The neighbours have not played a Test since 2007, instead meeting only in the shorter versions of the game and at multi-team competitions on foreign soil, rather than head-to-head series at home.

When they do play -- as they will at the Asia Cup later this month in the United Arab Emirates -- cricket fans around the world are glued to their TV screens, a multibillion-dollar bonanza for broadcasters.

The 2019 50-over World Cup clash between India and Pakistan drew 273 million viewers, while 167 million watched them in last year's Twenty20 World Cup.

"Nothing can match an Indo-Pakistan bilateral series because it is played in a different league," former prime minister and cricket captain Imran Khan, who led Pakistan to World Cup glory in 1992, said in a Sky Sports documentary.

"The atmosphere is filled with tension, pressure and enjoyment."

Pakistan Cricket Board chief executive Faisal Hasnain called games against India the "mother of all cricket matches".

"Fans want these two countries to play each other on a regular basis but resumption is only likely when there is a thaw in relations," he told AFP.

"We can only wait and hope that happens."

- Practice fodder -

Introduced to the sub-continent in the 18th century, cricket was played mostly by its white colonial rulers, but locals learned the game by being used as bowling or batting fodder in the practice nets.

India won Test status in 1932, but after partition most Muslim players -- including three who had played for the national team -- migrated to Pakistan, who had to build from scratch.

Pakistan's first Test, appropriately, was against India, in 1952 -- and they were led by Abdul Hafeez Kardar, one of the three double internationals.

Since then Pakistan and India have played 59 Tests, with Pakistan winning 12, India nine, and the rest drawn.

In ODIs Pakistan also have the edge, but India have won seven of their nine T20 encounters.

In the women's game, India have won all 11 of their ODIs and 10 of their 12 Twenty20s since first meeting in 2005.

The advent of one-day cricket has only boosted the rivalry with one commentator calling their clashes "war minus shooting".

In 1991, Aaqib Javed’s seven-wicket haul, including a hat-trick, helped Pakistan win the Wills Trophy in Sharjah in a match that ended in near-darkness, sparking outrage from the losing Indian side and fans.

"They whinged about it for months," Aaqib said drily.

But Pakistan fans have also shown their bile, sending death threats to Wasim Akram after he withdrew from a key final against India because of injury.

"At times the fans' reaction is intolerable," Akram said.

Former Indian batsman Sanjay Manjrekar said he misses regular clashes against Pakistan.

"It was my favourite opposition for all the entertainment they provided on the field with their banter," he told AFP.

"Plus the fact that they were a damn good side."

M.McCoy--TFWP