India Pull out of Pakistan Cricket Tour for 2009

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Well we have received news today that the Indian cricket team will not be touring Pakistan in early 2009. They were due to arrive in Pakistan on 4 January 2009 for three Tests, five one-day games and a Twenty20 international. But due to the request of the Indian government, the Indian cricket board canceled the Tour of Pakistan.

Pakistan’s cricket board issued a statement stating that they were disappointed with the decision of the Indian cricket board and that they are not fully surprised by it.

Indian sports minister MS Gill made the final call on cancelling the tour, with the government’s Ministry of External Affairs having already refused permission for a junior hockey team to travel to Pakistan.

“We received a communication from the government stating that in the present circumstances, it is not feasible to tour Pakistan,” said Indian Cricket Board (BCCI) official Ratnakar Shetty.

Meanwhile, he denied that the decision could damage the next Cricket World Cup, which is meant to be jointly hosted by India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

“It will not affect the 2011 World Cup as that is a different tournament,” he said.
We still maintain sport should not be mixed with politics he said.

It is pretty hard to argue with the decision made by India. You can not play friendly sports matches with a country that may be directly or indirectly involved and responsible for the deaths of many people. Although this cricket diplomacy has been lauded in the past for helping improve relations between the two countries, it is fairly obvious to see why the Indian government reacted this way.

We at Pakistanis for Peace believe that although these games help strengthen the relations between the two countries, it makes absolutely no sense that during this time of crisis the two countries proceed with the matches without resolving some basic sense of security and peace between the two nations. We hope that due to the horrific attacks in Mumbai recently, both countries sit down in earnest and work on a long term peaceful solution to their issues, mainly Kashmir. Only then can the citizens of both countries truly enjoy peace and prosperity and an occasional cricket match between the cricket mad countries.

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