Mind your cap

10

The world may have missed it but not the cricket fans in Pakistan and India. In the third One-
Day match against Australia, the Indian cricket team put on military caps for reasons known t
them best. It was not taken notice of by the umpires and the referees. And that surprised
Pakistan.

Earlier when the English cricketer Moeen Ali wore wristbands displaying humanitarian cum
political messages regarding the Palestine, the International Cricket Council took exception to
the act and asked him to keep such messaging out of the field.

Federal Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry giving reaction demanded of the
International Cricket Council (ICC) to impose a ban on the Indian cricket team for violating
regulations. By wearing Indian army caps, the Indian cricket team has violated ICC’s code of
conduct, he argued. And the ICC should take action for politicising the gentleman’s game. He
also urged the Pakistan Cricket Board to lodge a formal protest.

At any other time India might have got away with it but just when the two countries have
gotten back from the brink of war, such symbolism while might be endearing to the Indian
audience is bound to raise eyebrows on this side of the border.

That no action so far has been taken points to the ‘influential’ role India wields at the ICC.
Remember, not in the very distant past, India was among the ‘big four’ of the cricketing
world.

It is right that the sports and politics should be delinked and many cricketers have voiced such
sentiments whenever there was war hysteria at its peak. The cricketing ties between the two
countries are already non-existent and recently the Indian side has reportedly asked the ICC
to cancel its scheduled match with Pakistan which the ICC has turned down. In the event of
India not playing with Pakistan, the team boycotting the match shall stand to lose the match
points, it is clear.

India in the past also tried to convince the top cricket body to sever ties with countries linked
with terrorism- a clear reference to Pakistan.
Pakistan has made its point and rightly so. Now let’s look inward a bit. How the Pakistani media
reacted to this whole episode? As India lost the particular match mainly due to a 100- run
knock by an Australian of Pakistani origin, they found a whole new subject to fill the airtime.
The army cap might have jinxed it for India but Pakistan for sure has no role whatsoever in that
defeat. We like it or not, India is a leading team in the world with a lot more focus and discipline
at their command. If they lost that particular match, they might win the next one and most
likely the series. A far better response for Pakistan would be to attain better ranking and results
like we were able to do during the last Champions Trophy. A series with the same adversary
(Australia) is already upon us.