The world of cricket is suggesting that the game must go on, but the political capital of the sport thinks otherwise. The Indian cricket team, according to sports minister MS Gill, should not tour Pakistan next month.
“I have played cricket. I know the spirit of cricket. Cricket is not commerce,” said Gill. “Is it possible for one team to arrive in Mumbai and indulge in mass murder, and have another team go and play cricket in the winter afternoon sun at Lahore immediately after?
“Sports contact is for enhancing friendship between human beings, above all neighbours. It requires those in authority in Pakistan to give a clear indication, satisfactory to the world, of doing everything possible, to prevent such murderous incursions, and to root out the basis of it all.”
When asked whether it was the government’s decision on the tour, a ministry official said that only the sports minister’s opinion. “Ultimately it's the MEA who will decide on the tour,” said the official.
PCB chairman Ejaz Butt, who is in Chennai to attend an Asian Cricket Council meeting, refused to react. “I am here for a different meeting. I am not prepared to comment on Indian government’s decision,” said Butt.