The fiercest of rivalries has always been an India-Pakistan cricket match-up. Everything comes to a standstill during such a game; cricket-crazed hearts break TV screens in the streets.
News networks feed the flames by turning a win or loss into chest-thumping, which encourages jingoism in the process. It is suggested that a simple cricket game can be used for political retribution. A cricket player is not patriotic if his team loses. Angry supporters throw stones at their homes. Obscene hashtags about cricketers’ wives and daughters are popular on social media.
The same thing happens in our neighbor’s territory. The defeat of Pakistan shocks everyone from Lahore to Rawalpindi. Players are mistreated, TV displays are broken on the roadways, and so on. Videos of Pakistani fans inconsolable with grief circulate on social media, and the ones that go viral are soon immortalized as memes.
In this part of the world, cricket is not just a sentiment; it is also a game that is intricately tied to politics. The leaders of the two nations have previously been hosted by the stands of Indian stadiums, which provide a diplomatic space.
Every time there is an India-Pakistan match, the spectacle goes far beyond the confines of the loud television sets and cricket stadiums. A gentleman’s game has been transformed into a jingoistic one because of the political tension between the two nations.
Take, for instance, Arsheed Yusuf, Inayat Altaf Sheik, and Showkat Ahmed Ganai, three students from Kashmir, were arrested in Agra a few days after Pakistan beat India in a T20 World Cup match on October 24 of last year. A complaint submitted by a leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s youth wing led to the arrest.
The suspects were detained for “cyber terrorism” in addition to other offenses under Section 66F of the Information Technology Act. After at least four months, in March, these students, who had celebrated Pakistan’s victory over India in a cricket match, were released on bail.
In India, it’s common to see effigies of people we despise being burned. In order to burn the effigies of politicians who didn’t fulfill their jobs. Similar scenes were witnessed in Pakistan, where Shahid Afridi, one of cricket’s most explosive batsmen, had his effigy set ablaze. You can access more Indian sports news at 22news.in.
Afridi believed that Pakistan would recover from its loss to India in the Asia Cup T20 encounter in 2016, even though Pakistan had lost. It was not well received by anyone. Afridi’s captaincy and the effigies of other players were burned by incensed supporters in the Pakistani province of Punjab.