Ex-international diplomat — Shashi Tharoor feels India and Pakistan bilateral ties must resume at the earliest. He recently gave his opinions on the escalting political tensions between India and Pakistan, which has ensured that the two sides haven’t played a bilateral series since 2012.
Tharoor, 64, highlighted that the current negativity surrounding India and Pakistan relationship is a burden on cricket, unlike other sports which see India and Pakistan competing with each other almost regularly.
In an exclusive interview with Indranil Basu on Sportskeeda Cricket’s Facebook page, Shashi Tharoor discussed on a variety of subjects including famous India-Pakistan rivalry being one of them.
India and Pakistan Bilateral Ties Will Follow Diplomacy: Shashi Tharoor
The respected writer said the subdued relations between the two countries have pushed cricket to take a backseat when asked about the impact of politics on the cricket teams of India and Pakistan.
“I’ve written that cricket will follow diplomacy and not lead it. But the current negativism about India-Pakistan cricket expects cricket to bear an unfair share of the burden. Other sports like hockey and kabaddi have taken place, but no bilateral cricket has been played because of the visibility of cricket,” Shashi Tharoor said.
Shashi Tharoor continued by stating that when India and Pakistan had their ambassadors in each other’s countries, conducting bilateral series was possible. However, given that political relations are at an all-time low, cricket can’t be expected to resume.
“If you can conduct your normal diplomatic relations, why can’t you conduct your normal cricketing relations? Why should cricket be held to a higher standard than diplomacy? Now of course, relations have become worse and we’ve withdrawn ambassadors from each other’s countries,” stated Shashi Tharoor.
Shashi Tharoor was minister of state for external affairs in 2009-2010 and under-secretary-general for United Nations for communications and public information from 2002 to 2007.
Tharoor received many prestigious honours and awards as a politician, journalist and writer. His non-fiction work ‘Era of Darkness’ was sold over 1,00,000 hardback reprints besides continuing as a bestseller in India. He had married thrice but his last wife Sunanda Pushkar died mysteriously.
Shashi Tharoor: Improving Atmosphere With Cricket Should Be Tried After The Two Countries Restore Ambassadorial Level Context
Besides, Tharoor added that once the two neighbouring countries manage to resume a bit of normalcy by improving diplomatic relations the possibility of cricket resuming will become more likely.
“Once the countries decide that they will restore ambassadorial level context, we should also try to improve the atmosphere with cricket,” he added.
India and Pakistan last played a bilateral series in 2012 in India, and have only met each other in ICC tournaments and the Asia Cups since then.
The Indian team holds a clear edge in ICC trophies and are even undefeated in World Cups, but Pakistan did end their tag as chokers in ICC tournaments with an emphatic win in the final of the 2017 Champions Trophy.
Various current and former Pakistan cricketers including pacer Shoaib Akhtar have called for the resumption of India-Pakistan bilateral series.