In front of an estimated one billion global audience, India and Pakistan played a game of cricket without producing the thrills of the past. At the end of the surprisingly one-sided match, India posted its seventh straight wins in ICC tournaments over the archrival.
Bothe countries now meets only in ICC tournaments as India has abandoned cricket ties with Pakistan after continuous terrorist attacks.
The match at Edgbaston and its result tells more about the increasing disparities between the two nations beyond sports. Poor income from cricket, weak administration and inadequate exposure to high class cricket have adversely affected Pakistani teams’ game quality.
On the other side, India is a rich pool of talent with players demonstrating abundant confidence on the field. India benefited much from IPL – right from finding talents, grooming them, supporting them with money and giving opportunity to compete along and against the world’s best cricketers. Some of its kids like Rishab Pant and Sanju Samson, performed better than batsmen in the current Indian team. The team acquired tremendous efficiency from high class game exposure from the IPL.
Coming back to the Pakistani team at Edgbaston, its team reflects the state of affairs of the Pakistani nation affected by terrorism. What the Pakistani batsmen seemed to lack was to cope up with India’s competitive skills. They had only limited game exposure. Cricket in Pakistan is almost in trauma after the March 2009 attack on Sri Lankan cricket team at Lahore. Only Zimbabwe played a relatively low-profile series since then in Pakistan.
Recently, six foreign players including Kevin Peiterson, Luke Wright etc. withdrawn from the 2017 PSL final when the match was shifted from Dubai to Lahore.
For any country, it is very difficult to bring up sports without hosting tournaments. Amidst lack of domestic series against international teams, the Pakistani Cricket Boards revenue is smaller than the budgets of few IPL teams.
There can’t’ be talent discovery, its development and exposing these talents to without competition at home.
Long staying of terrorism has produced political, cultural and economic adverse effects on Pakistan as a country. Indeed, the difference between the two South Asian neighbors is widening in every realm and sports just reflects this.