In an exclusive interview with Indranil Basu on Sportskeeda Cricket's Facebook page, Shashi Tharoor touched upon a variety of topics, with the famous India-Pakistan rivalry being one of them.
When asked about the impact of politics on the cricket teams of India and Pakistan, the respected writer spoke about how the worsening relations between the two countries have ensured that cricket has taken a backseat.
"I've written that cricket will follow diplomacy and not lead it. But the current negativism about India-Pakistan cricket expects cricket to bear an unfair share of the burden. Other sports like hockey and kabaddi have taken place, but no bilateral cricket has been played because of the visibility of cricket," Shashi Tharoor said.
Once the countries restore ambassadorial context, we should also restore cricket: Shashi Tharoor
Shashi Tharoor continued by stating that when India and Pakistan had their ambassadors in each other's countries, it would've been prudent to conduct bilateral series as well. However, given that political relations are at an all-time low, cricket can't be expected to be an exception to the norm.
"If you can conduct your normal diplomatic relations, why can't you conduct your normal cricketing relations? Why should cricket be held to a higher standard than diplomacy? Now of course, relations have become worse and we've withdrawn ambassadors from each other's countries," stated Shashi Tharoor.
The 64-year-old added that once India and Pakistan manage to restore 'ambassadorial level context', the possibility of cricket returning will become more likely.
"Once the countries decide that they will restore ambassadorial level context, we should also try to improve the atmosphere with cricket," he added.
India and Pakistan last played a bilateral series in 2012, and have only encountered each other in ICC tournaments and the Asia Cup since then. While the Men in Blue have had the wood over their neighbours in general, Pakistan did end their ICC tournament hoodoo with an emphatic win in the final of the 2017 Champions Trophy.
Various current and former Pakistan cricketers have called for the resumption of India-Pakistan bilateral series.Published 04 Sep 2020, 12:58 IST