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All aboard for 'Pindi?

Now that Karachi is done and dusted, tries to catch the latest buzz in the Pakistan media.

india Updated: Mar 16, 2004 13:36 IST
Payal Dhar
Payal Dhar

With all due respect to bowlers, the first one-dayer at Karachi between Pakistan and India was the nearest thing to a perfect game — one team scores 349, the other almost chases it successfully. Now that that is done and dusted, here is what the buzz in the Pakistani media is all about.

One can say with a reasonable amount of certainty that Javed Miandad subjected his team to an Alex-Ferguson-style hairdryer treatment. (For the uninitiated, that is yelling at someone hard enough to make their hair stand on end.) Thus, it is no surprise that Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Sami's respective noses were kept to the grindstone as Miandad had them bowling for three hours in the nets at Rawalpindi on Sunday afternoon. "Death to no-balls and wides" will be their refrain. Read The Nation'sreportabout it.

For India, though, the mood was near the other end of the spectrum. And it keeps getting better. News portal Pakistan Daily links tothis story in the Sydney Morning Herald about how Indian mobile phone companies have been allowed to provide international roaming service to travelling fans in Pakistan. Perfect to send blow-by-blow accounts to one's aunt's second cousin's childhood friend whose daughter is a classmate of your neighbour's son's kids and couldn't get a visa to go to Pakistan.

Pakistan may have lost the game, but to millions all around the world watching every ball on their television sets, the Karachi crowd won many hearts with their sporting behaviour. It was difficult to imagine that the two teams represented countries who itch to get at each other's throats at every given opportunity. So impressed have people been with the crowd behaviour, thatnoises about cricket having opened "new avenues" of confidence building measuresto promote "bilateral relations between the two nuclear rivals" are already rife.

Meanwhile,here is an interesting neutral view of the game. Funnily enough, this "third eye" is British. The Guardian's Richard Williams reports on how India and Pakistan conjured "something unique" in Karachi. This is not strictly Pakistan media watching, but is a very fluent piece of writing and not to be missed.

It is time now to look forward to the second one-dayer at Rawalpindi, and one would imagine that the experts will be somewhat more reticent in announcing their views this time around. For their original pronouncements of this being a tussle between Pakistani bowlers and Indian batsmen was turned topsy-turvy in Karach, leaving a few red faces.This story in shows how the term "expert" can be misleading at times.

As the scene shifts to Rawalpindi, security arrangements in Shoaib Akhtar's hometown are on top of everyone's priority. The Jangreports that the Pakistan Interior Ministry's security official has confirmed that the food being served to the Indians are being checked and also that for the time being shopping and sightseeing by the visitors are not being encouraged.

The Dawnsays Elite Squad commandos have been detailed to cover the Indian cricketers in Rawalpindi stadium. In all, as many as 3,000 policemen will be responsible for security for the second one-day international. According to the Frontier Post, a special security plan will be put in place as well. There's more on thathere.

And we thought it was all about cricket, right? Well, when Najam Sethi in his editorial inThe Friday Times says that more than cricket might depend on the series, one tends to take a few moments hear him out. Unfortunately, one needs to register (it's free)to read content at this site.

First Published: Mar 15, 2004 17:51 IST