It is a shame that politics dictates sports in Pakistan and India, said a Pakistani daily, adding it is the responsibility of cricketing authorities of the both countries to keep intact friendly relations.
An editorial “World cup hopes” in the Daily Times said that after receiving solid assurances from India’s Ministry of Home Affairs, Pakistan cricket team landed in Kolkata on Saturday to take part in the ICC World Twenty20.
The match was shifted to Kolkata from Dharamsala due to concerns over security of the Pakistan team.
“Earlier, a cloud of uncertainty and diplomatic slugfest had made the participation of Pakistan in the mega event doubtful. It is a shame that politics dictates sports in Pakistan and India. It is the responsibility of the cricketing authorities from both states that they should keep intact friendly relations,” it said.
“Both teams must play for the sake of cricket.”
After reaching India, the Pakistan skipper said that he has found friendly atmosphere in India. While taking security concerns lightly, he stressed that sports and politics should be kept apart.
The biggest extravaganza, the T20 World Cup 2016, is presently in progress in India with much fanfare as minnows are competing to qualify for the tournament. All eyes are set on the showdown between archrivals India and Pakistan.
The Pakistani squad comprises a mix of senior and young talented players, who have so far failed to prove their critics wrong due to their poor performance in the Asia Cup.
The editorial said the “tag of unpredictability looms large despite the presence of a number of match winning players in the team”.
“A good bowling attack is the hallmark of Pakistan while the issues of inconsistency in batting and poor fielding still haunt the team. However, the players should focus on their plus points and concentrate on teamwork for winning the coveted World Cup.”
It advised that Team Pakistan should also display a strong fighting spirit till the last ball. “They are required to play as a single unit to win every match.”
The daily pointed out that Pakistan has already been facing isolation in cricket as no big team picked up courage to visit it after the deadly terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore in March 2009.
“Under these circumstances, it is the hope of cricket lovers in Pakistan that their team brings home laurels from this tournament. Winning the World Cup is the dream of every Pakistani and we must hope that this dream comes true.”