By Sunday evening, the mother of all cricket battles will have ended in faraway Down Under. After the last ball is bowled and the souvenir stumps snatched, jubilation will break out like chickenpox on one side of the border; on the other, dark despair will descend like an unwelcome blanket on a balmy night.
There will probably be heightened tension along the Line of Control. Television channels will pick the least gracious fans from the winning side to ask the question: How does it feel to have won the war? Religion will cast its long, and unwelcome, shadow.
Two teams – one unpredictable and often underperforming, and the other, of late predictably underperforming – would have slugged it out, possibly for 100 overs. Victory will be presented as better than having won the Cup: indeed, the refrain on the winning side will be along the lines of “Now, nothing more matters”.
Western writers will probably write about the bitterness of the rivalry between the two “nuclear-armed neighbours”.
All this is idiotic and self-defeating for a variety of reasons, and symptomatic of a broader stupidity.
While one set of phoney warriors poses victorious, its foot metaphorically on the throat of the vanquished neighbour, teams like Australia and New Zealand will be planning their next conquest, eyes firmly on the final prize.