« Previous | Main | Next »

India V Pakistan: Cricket diplomacy?

Chloe Tilley Chloe Tilley | 09:56 UK time, Wednesday, 30 March 2011


One in six people on the planet will be watching, that's one billion following a small matter of a cricket match between India and Pakistan on TV. It's the most talked about topic on the internet and has been for the last two days.

Today's Cricket World Cup semi final will be the first time since the Mumbai attacks in Nov 2008, that India and Pakistan have played cricket on each other's soil.

Relations between the two nuclear nations have been at a low since the attacks in which 174 people died, including 9 gunmen. There were 10 co-ordinated shooting and bombing attacks across the city by the Pakistan militant group, Lashkar-e-Taiba.

So as sport forces them together, is this an opportunity to kick start in diplomacy?

It certainly looks like it. Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani is travelling at the personal invitation of his Indian counterpart, Manmohan Singh, in what is being described as "cricket diplomacy".

Pakistan has declared a half-day holiday to allow fans to watch the match, while many offices in both countries said they would shut for the occasion.

One Pakistan fan told Reuters news agency,

"This is a more important event than any other event in Pakistan this year, there is no way I would miss even a second of this match - I will try to not even blink during the game".

It comes just a day after the two countries agreed to allow delegations from each country to visit the other, as part of an inquiry into the Mumbai attacks.

How significant could today's match be in improving relations?

Gyanappa tweets,

will india-pakistan cricket diplomacy reduce the trust deficit between the two countries? it is great if the leaders solve the liquid natural gas problems

Jovitta Thomas posted on our facebook page,

Why politicise a sport that is dearly loved and enjoyed by both nations? It has the potential to bring them together for a few hours but also the potential to leave further scars. Why not enjoy it as a sport and leave it there?

Khadijah Habib Mirza tweets,

Here in Karachi city every one is so excited...green colour all over PAKISTAN.... I hope our team will be the winner.

Khalid Rauf tweets,

We Indians are now masters of this game CRICKET .India poised for a great hard-fought win today to the delight of One Billion plus Indians worldwide.

Should sport be politicised?

On the early edition of WHYS at 1100GMT we'll be speaking to fans in India and Pakistan and be live at the ground

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.