SUBMITTED BY: MARYAM WAHEED
REGISTRATION NO.: 2013-BDDS-024
Cricket diplomacy growing in practice, and yet the debate over whether diplomacy and sport should mix continues. This debate is not settled because a theoretical exploration of the term has so far been absent in the Diplomatic Studies field. An enhanced understanding of cricket diplomacy will lead to enhanced practical application and a sustainable, durable and permanent relationship between sports and diplomacy. The article will discuss the effectiveness of cricket between nations as cricket is very popular sport in this region. The history of Cricket series and cricket world cup will also be analyzed that how cricket was effective during these periods to release the tension between countries. The power of Cricket proved a peaceful solution of every circumstance can be resolved as compare to the gun diplomacy. Cricket diplomacy consists of using the game of cricket as a political tool to enhance or worsen the diplomatic relations between two cricket playing nations. Cricket is the second-most widely played game in the world after football, and is thus used as a political tool to bridge the gap in the diplomatic vacuum. More specifically the matches India and Pakistan are common all over the world. The rivalry between these two countries makes matches more interesting and viewers have keen interest who is going to win. As both countries have clashes and are neighboring states of Asian region both nations are in favor of cricket diplomacy. If politics and sport do not mix, then why should diplomacy and sport then diplomacy as the business of negotiation, compromise and peace has nothing to do with the nationalist fervor and competition-shortof-war that international sport generates. Cricket diplomacy can simply be defined as “Cricket diplomacy consists of using the game of cricket as a political tool to enhance or worsen the diplomatic relations between two cricket playing nations. Cricket is the second-most widely played game in the world after football, and is thus used as a political tool to bridge the gap in the diplomatic vacuum ”the cricket diplomacy has widen its field of outdated diplomatic activities from the sphere of diverse issues, governments and diplomats to new actors and target groups. “Different individuals, institutions and groups, which are joining international and intercultural communication activities and have influence on the political relations between countries” For sporting puritans the world over, when ‘the suits’ encroach on hallowed sporting grounds it is nothing more than a photo-op. These fanatics thrive on the despair and elation that intense, meaningful sporting competition demands and generates. Staged events with back-slapping and beaming politicians, exhibition matches or talk of peace stemming from sport are anathema for such publics.
Cricket diplomacy is to explain and speak in favor of government policies and to represent a nation to foreign public. Cricket diplomacy is actually government to people interaction that comprise government effort to influence the public or elite views internationally and also the foreign policy activity of the targeted country. Today approaches of information and communication domestic as well as overseas affected by new communication tools are various. International series and tournament are one of the modern tools in that. International matches have become a serious selection to good international relations. Cricket is a most famous sport in all over the world. However, sports and politics have had both positive and negative implications over history. Nationalistic fervor was sometimes linked to victory or loss on sports fields. In case of India and Pakistan, cricket has frequently been the victim of poor relations between these neighbors with tours blocked for years because of bad-blood; nevertheless, it has also been used to build trust and confidence when ties are improving. Cricket diplomacy can play great role in enhancing relations of India and Pakistan but with the affirmative media presentation. Relations between India and Pakistan have been troubled from the start as their history demonstrates. Their cricketing relationship has throughout this period reflected their political relationship, and bilateral cricket has as previously mentioned been treated as a political matter. Cricket has contributed to communal and regional divisions in South Asia, and high levels of passion are often incited when matches are played. At the same time, it is the common love of the entire region, and has contributed to a feeling of unity for diversified populations. On the other hand Pakistan recently launched PSL (Pakistan Super League), another way to promote cultural diplomacy with respect to public diplomacy to influence its cultural by naming the team names referred towards its major cities like Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad and Quetta form all its four provinces. the cricketing calendar for each international team is already quite jam packed, the addition of such leagues often elevates the risk of player burn-out or/and injuries. Thus, fatigue and niggling injuries by too much cricket can have a negative impact on the performance of players and subsequently on the performance of the national team. Then there is the old argument of whether such hit and miss tournaments actually qualifies as determinants of a player’s true worth. There is some weight to the argument that one tournament is simply not enough to adequately judge what a player is a capable of.
Cricket diplomacy can simply be defined as:
“Cricket diplomacy consists of using the game of cricket as a political tool to enhance or worsen the diplomatic relations between two cricket playing nations. Cricket is the second-most widely played game in the world after football, and is thus used as a political tool to bridge the gap in the diplomatic vacuum”
the cricket diplomacy has widen its field of outdated diplomatic activities from the sphere of diverse issues, governments and diplomats to new actors and target groups.
“Different individuals, institutions and groups, which are joining international and intercultural communication activities and have influence on the political relations between countries”
Hence the purpose of cricket diplomacy is to explain and speak in favor of government policies and to represent a nation to foreign public.
“Cricket diplomacy is actually people interaction that comprise government effort to influence the public or elite views internationally and also the foreign policy activity of the targeted country”
. One position would hold that cricket can help unite divided groups of people. This argument is typified by Chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board and former Foreign Secretary of Pakistan, Shaharyar Khan who contends that cricket can be used as a way toconnect fractured nations, regions and peoples.
“Cricket can form the perfect bridge of internal and inter-state peace between
An alternative view suggests that sport highlights nationalist tensions within and between countries and therefore has a negative impact on international relations. George Orwell took a similar stance in a regularly cited article written in 1945 entitled ‘The Sporting Spirit’.
“Serious sport has nothing to do with fair play. It is bound up with hatred, jealousy… and sadistic pleasure in witnessing violence: in other words it is war minus the shooting.”
India and Pakistan are two of the most strategically important countries in the South Asian region. These two nations separated after the Indian subcontinent divided. There is much in common between Republic of India and Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
“The diplomatic relations developed soon after independence but these relations did not ensure good friendship and have been mostly hostile. The blaming process started soon after the inception of Pakistan when during the world’s biggest mass migration both states were unable to provide security to minorities. The peace was disrupted and the two nations started fighting due to different reasons from time to time. There are many issues between Pakistan and India like those of Kashmir, water, terrorism, border confrontation, trade etc.
The idea that cricket can function as a ‘bridge of peace’ (Khan, 2005:180) between Indians and Pakistanis will be the starting point of this discussion, which will deal with the Indo-Pakistani cricketing and political relationship from the advent of cricket diplomacy in 1987.
“History of Cricket Ties Since President Zia’s cricket diplomacy raised the hope of a more forthcoming Pakistani policy in 1987” (Cohen, 2001:208), “India and Pakistan have engaged in bilateral cricket contests on six more occasions” (Cricinfo, 2007).
“India toured Pakistan in November December 1989 for a full Test series, but after the Kashmiri uprising in 1989 and ensuing crisis in 1990 led to soured relations between the two countries” (Ganguly & Hagerty, 2005:78),
Bilateral cricket relations suffered. The destruction sparked communal violence in large parts of India, and put Hindu-Muslim relations to the test. Thus, the political climate that prevailed between India and Pakistan after 1989 put an effective stop to bilateral cricket. This is the short-version of the game, lasting only one day. A Test match can last for as much as five days.
Racine (2004:131) argues that
“president Zia’s 1987 version of cricket diplomacy was purely cosmetic, and that nothing had changed ten years later. India had not toured Pakistan due to wretched political conditions since 1989, but in September-October 1997, they played a limited number of One Day International matches in Pakistan. This was the first bilateral cricket contest on Indian or Pakistani soil in eight years, but the following year both states exploded nuclear devices, contributing to heightened tensions and a growing fear of what escalation of the conflict could lead to.”
Khan (2005:72) claims that the
“public relations success and good spirit surrounding the cricket tour helped pave the way for this ‘diplomatic milestone.”
Cricket players as symbolic representatives therefore had an important part to play when it came to bolstering the fresh peace process by providing a channel of communication between the populations of the nuclear neighbours.
PSL (Pakistan super League)
the Pakistan Super League promises to have a transformative impact on cricket in Pakistan. Most importantly, the PSL has given the cricket hungry nation of Pakistan something to cheerful for.
There is no limit to ambition and the Pakistan Super League (PSL) is one such project that has no limitations. Set to be played in Qatar in February 2016, the event promises to be the biggest, the most exciting and by far the most entertaining tournament in the history of Pakistan cricket.
Biggest, because the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is trying to rope in the biggest names in T20 cricket; most exciting since it will feature local talent alongside international names and most entertaining because the entertainment stars on this side of the Wagah will support different teams. Future of Pakistan Super league however has been the response from Pakistan’s public. The people have given the PSL more importance than the 2015 World Cup. Actually for Pakistan cricket PSL as a turning-point, not just for the country’s cash- strapped cricket board but also for young cricketers who have missed out on opportunities to interact with and learn from leading international players, which is actually brought back by PSL PSL will generate revenues of approximately $50 million, according to cricket board estimates. A 10-year forecast sees the board making profits of $50-60 million. Despite the success of PSL’s first season, the real test for the cricket board will be if it can permanently bring the game back home.
“Next year, we hope to have at least the opening and closing PSL matches on Pakistani soil,” PSL Chairman Sethi said.
“That is the dream.” PSL is not the next big thing – It already is the big thing (sethi; 2016)
the cricket pitch can be useful for the development of relations if there is any ice which can not be broken. No doubt a lot of cricket series has been played between India and Pakistan but the nothing much was outcome of these series which shows that the series were very useful including world cup matches during these periods except just to break the ice for a short period. Playing a lot of cricket series does not mean to resolve the disputes. So the cricket is the basic tool of diplomacy between two nations. Cricket is used as a political tool to play on Political pitch to bridge the gap in the diplomatic vacuum between two Cricket playing nations. The cricket Is the opposite of the gun diplomacy in which forces are deployed. It is concluded that the power of Cricket proved that a peaceful solution of every circumstances between India and Pakistan can be resolved as compare to the gun diplomacy.
However, whatever the obstacles and interferences, whatever the drawbacks and shortcomings, and how deeply negative the country perception is, there couldn’t be a better time than this to make a serious effort by government towards presenting the actual Pakistan to the world. If PSL represent Pakistan in a positive light, it will help to improve the world awareness and then create a positive image of Muslims and Pakistanis in general. sports-diplomacy does have a bright future. Sports have been used for political reasons since time immemorial. For positive and negative purposes, from politicians to community activists, its enticing power is undeniable. Sports transcend borders and security rivalries and break the ice formed over years of silence. Sports provide a unique opportunity for quarrelling parties to sit at the negotiating table, provide a safe space for individuals that have experienced fear while being an important tool for integration and peace building. Sports may not directly resolve political tensions but they can definitely open doors that otherwise would be closed. Through campaigns for sustainable development, gender equality, or fighting global hunger, sports, if properly directed, have the capacity to move the most unmovable mountains. Sports also provide ‘disaffected, abandoned and homeless’ youths living in low income communities with much needed alternatives to joining a criminal gang or an armed militia. They can develop healthy friendships while building their self-esteem and self-confidence, necessary leadership skills, and the value of team work. This is not just for pure recreation but to learn life skills.
In the past, the role of cricket could have possibly been best described as a mock battleground for India and Pakistan to play out their grievances, even adding to these in some cases thereby fulfilling Orwell’s gloomy view on sport as ‘war minus the shooting.’ With all the emotion and notions of national pride and prestige attached to winning against the old enemy, what chance has cricket of continuing to help the cause of peace? 68 The above discussion might seem to suggest that cricket merely plays an ameliorative role in the Indo-Pakistani relationship that cricket is not what really matters when it comes to war and peace. cricket matches have provided ‘a quick, albeit temporary, resolution to this face-off where there are no victors in real life.’ What’s more, it is not the Indian and Pakistani cricket players as symbolic representatives by themselves who can bring about détente between their nations, but the two countries’ leaders decision to improve relations . In other words, the governments of India and Pakistan carry the ultimate responsibility for making the peace process work. But if the playing field ‘can provide a stage for political grievance and conflict, certainly it can also facilitate cooperation and understanding’. Across South Asia today, there is ‘a fanatical following for cricket which no other sport has known’ within its shores. All this combined makes for a potent role for cricket to play as perhaps the only real unifying force and national identity marker for Pakistanis and Indians alike. As sport can divide, it also has the potential as the world’s common language to unite people both within and across borders. Imran Khan, a former Pakistani cricketer, spoke of his hopes for the Friendship Series in 2004, saying that: ‘When the two countries are trying to become friendly, trying to ease tensions, then cricket plays a healing role, cricket becomes a cement in bonding the countries together’. Shaharyar Khan, chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board, added his voice to this positive outlook when asked if cricket diplomacy has succeeded in advance of the Pakistani team’s return tour of India in 2005: ‘Of course it has. Look at the amount of goodwill the two teams generated during the series played in Pakistan. If the Indians won the hearts of the Pakistanis in Pakistan, we are here to achieve the same goal in India. Cricket diplomacy has worked. I have no doubts on that It seems therefore that cricket diplomacy has the potential to stick around for a while. Nothing is certain when India and Pakistan and are involved, though, and it is still too early to tell if cricket will contribute to lasting peace between India and Pakistan
- Both of the governments need more Dialogue at political levels to improve the relations.
- Just cricket can’t create peace between two nation and both political systems must took step to arrange other sport competitions for strong relations.
- Hockey can be useful for more relations as a part of sport and political Diplomacy.
- The issues of sport and related to Kashmir must be discussed and should be resolved according to the UN Law of Independency.
- UN should must play a role to resolve these issues including sport.
- All the saarc countries should also organized a meeting to play their political role to release the tension.
- Indian and Pakistani political parties must respect the peoples of Kashmir including their Armies 8. The government of both countries must make strict laws to seas fires on the border areas of both nations.
- The armed forces of both countries must respect to each other nation especially on the border areas. 10. Both forces must play a positive role by organizing meetings to stop and respect the seize fire on border areas so that the safety of the residents population of these areas could be sure.
- Media of both nations should also play a positive role for this purpose.
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