Bengaluru, June 14: An India versus Pakistan clash in the ICC Cricket World Cup is something that fans always look up to. The two arch-rivals have met six times in the mega tournament since 1992 and on all times, it is India who have prevailed over their opponents. The seventh game will be played at Old Trafford, Manchester, on Sunday (June 16) and the mercury is already heading north.
However, one difference that the run-up to an India-Pakistan clash at the World Cup is seeing this time is the jingoism on either side of the border. It is not uncommon to witness the raw emotions running high this time since the two neighbours are sharing the best of relations in other fields like politics and diplomacy.
The two rivals even came close to a conflict in the wake of a deadly suicide terror attack in Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir in which over 40 Indian personnel were killed. Air skirmishes took place in the wake of that incident in February and one Indian Air Force pilot Abhinandan Varthaman was caught on the other side of the border and released later.
Now, the jingoism has come to haunt the minds of the creative artists who are making ads on the upcoming India-Pakistan clash. Previously, the popular 'Mauka Mauka' ads that were aired ahead of the India-Pakistan clash at any big ICC event had the fun factor. This time, bringing in a character to make a caricature of Abhinandan in Pakistan or portraying India as the "father" of Pakistan on this side has had little funny appeal.
Ace Indian tennis player Sania Mirza whose husband is Pakistan cricketer Shoaib Malik has slammed the ads made on either side, calling them "cringeworthy". Not off the mark Sania, those ads have not made a sporting experience any more sporting.
Cringeworthy ads on both sides of the border 🤮 seriously guys, you don’t need to ‘hype up’ or market the match anymore specially with rubbish! it has ENOUGH attention already!It’s only cricket for God sake, and if you think it’s anymore than that then get a grip or get a life !!— Sania Mirza (@MirzaSania) June 12, 2019
Also, may be the track record in the World Cup is so much tilted in favour of India that the creative minds do not find anything new to feed the audience with a funny twist. But having said that, importing negative aspects from the realms of war and conflict into sport to earn easy applauds is not a wise thing to do either.
India and Pakistan had played a World Cup match during the Kargil War in the 1999 edition which was also held in England. But little was seen in terms of derogatory jingoism aimed at each other off the ground. Why then resort to such nonsense this time when there are a great many talented players to look up to in both sides?
Cricket should be allowed to heal the wounds between the two neighbours. But we are seeing something contrasting this time around.