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A gentleman's gamble

india Updated: Mar 27, 2011 21:30 IST

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has taken to the field himself ahead of the Mohali maha-match between India and Pakistan by inviting both the Pakistani president and prime minister to drop by for a nibble of palak pakora and a dekko at the game.

Now, Asif may just don his flannels and nip right across, anything to get away from the Kalashnikov kooks in Karachi.

And even poor Yousuf Raza Gilani, pinned down to the nets as he is at home, may welcome a bit of butter chicken and bhangra.

But we are certain this is not going to happen, if killjoy Kayani, the dour army chief has his way.

Just imagine if they actually do come. This would put the ball firmly in the court of the leaders of the two countries. They could then improvise on locations where matches between the two countries can be held.

We could recommend a friendly joust on the Siachen glacier, a right royal scrummage in PoK, why we could even open an inning or two in Waziristan.

Just imagine the consternation among the jihadis when our team turns up in, say the Swat Valley.

"Ahmed, why does that round object fascinate our recruits when we have round objects which can explode as soon as batting begins?"

To which the sidekick would answer, "Sheikh, they are demanding cucumber sandwiches and flannels on earth, they don't want wine and houris in heaven. They also want membership of the Dennis Lillee academy of bowling."

This could well defuse militancy in ways that no interlocutors or army can. Soon we could see fatigues replaced by flannels and the Bengal Lancers take on the Rawalpindi Rifles.

It will certainly have the militants and naysayers on both sides running for extra cover.

To mangle the redoubtable Ms Sushma Swaraj, let's move on from Mohali.