Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Cricket Diplomacy...?

The New York Times posted a great article on the cricket match between India and Pakistan. Whether the match will help to open conversation between Manmohan Singh and Yousaf Raza Gilani or whether the adversarial nature of sports will overtake any opportunity for long term progress remains to be seen.

The national teams of India and Pakistan both advanced to the semifinal round of the cricket World Cup tournament. When it became clear that the teams would meet in the Indian city of Mohali, the prime minister of India, Manmohan Singh, issued a surprise invitation to his Pakistani counterpart, Yousaf Raza Gilani, to join him in the grandstand.

Mr. Gilani accepted. Both men arrived at the cricket ground on Wednesday and took their places in a private box for the one-day match. Both shook hands with the players from the opposing teams after the national anthems were sung before the game began, meeting first the Pakistani then the Indian players. The prospect of the two leaders’ sitting together for hours in a relatively informal setting has many here asking what they will talk about, and whether a breakthrough could be possible between the two fractious, nuclear-armed neighbors.

If you are interested in reading a play-by-play of the match, The Guardian is keeping a comprehensive record.

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