Asia Cup: India and Pakistan gear up for next cricket battle

It is tempting to think that the off-field cricket rivalry between India and Pakistan is passé, a thing of the past century.

The two cricketing giants will take on each other in the Asia Cup on Sunday. If the gods smile on television moguls, this could be the first of three meetings in the tournament.

The India-Pakistan rivalry has generally been more intense in the hearts and minds of supporters than the players. Battles have been fought on social media by fans who believe that a win on a cricket field is conclusive proof that one political system or one religion or one nation is superior to the other.

Over the years, there have been two separate games whenever the India and Pakistan teams have met. The one on the field is a competition between two talented sets of players trying their utmost to win, bringing into the frame professional pride. Off it, the game is symbolic of something else; war minus the shooting, to use George Orwell’s memorable phrase.

The last time the…

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