Saturday, November 29, 2008

Now is the time to play India cricket in India

Photo: Indian soldier outside Taj Mahal hotel.

Like many Australians, I have watched events unfold in India with a sense of appalled fascination. I cannot help it. The coverage is there all the time.

I will comment on what I see as the lessons later. For the moment, I want to make a different point.

I can understand why English or Australian cricketers might not want to play in India. I am not saying that individuals should play. It depends on their personal circumstances. That said, I am saying that the cancellation of cricket is a victory for the terrorists, a blow to India and Indians.

Cricket is the great game that unites certain countries including India, Pakistan, England and Australia. The phrase "that's not cricket" used to indicate an act outside the rules is still current English despite sometimes problems with the professional game.

One of the casual staff at a local bottle shop I go to from time to time is from India, a student working part to help fund his Australian studies. We talk about cricket. He takes great pleasure in Indian wins, especially over Australia and England.

Am I being too far left field when I say that now is the time to consider a special Indian cricket series? This might include teams from Australia, England, Pakistan if possible, the West Indies, South Africa etc.

If this is not possible, how about some special challenge cup with teams made up of volunteers? I am sure that cricket and cricket lovers could fund this.

Fanatics of the Mumbai type cannot win militarily. They aim to win through the destruction of civil society, through the creation of fear in and between communities and countries.

To counter this, they are best regarded as a disease. Thinking of them in this way, they are less dangerous than most measured by real effects. They become really dangerous only because of our responses to them.

So let's respond with a focus on business as usual. Cricket could be a valuable part of this.

How about a cricket challenge to India from the rest of the world? My friendly bottle shop staff member would argue that India could win. For my part, I would like to take him on!


Anonymous said...

Jim, what a fantastic idea. I could not agree more. I hope that someone will do something about it. I certainly am pushing my local contacts who are quite influential in cricket administration to do some thing with this idea. Thank you.

Jim Belshaw said...

Thanks, Ramamna. I know that the Poms have said that they are comming back. But we need a demonstration.

Anonymous said...

I love this idea. It's so horrible that these terrorists not only take innocent lives, but also stop countries from interacting in a civil way.

Jim Belshaw said...

Agree, LE. Glad you like the idea. I think that a special cricket match might be fun. Sort of cricket, so to speak.