Host IPL, save civilisation, say British media

March 23rd, 2009 - 8:53 pm ICT by IANS  

London, March 23 (IANS) The British media Monday cited the history of India-Britain relations to urge England to host the Indian Premier League (IPL).
“It is no hyperbole to say that a threat to Indian cricket is a threat to civilisation,” declared The Times in an editorial.

Pointing to the “closeness of history between Indian and English cricket”, the paper in its editorial titled “Let the games continue”, said India were the first international side to tour England after the Second World War.

“The team, led by the Nawab of Pataudi, who had played for England before the war, represented the country amid the domestic discord and crisis that led to Partition.”

Although sport did not dissolve political frictions, the paper said, “yet cricket represents a binding force among Indians, Pakistanis and Sri Lankans amid continuing religious and ethnic divisions.”

The Independent, a liberal paper, said that the decision to move the IPL out of India, although the right one, was “lamentable for all that, a no-win situation.”

“It is possible that most Indian cricket fans, following the matches on TV screens rather than watching them live, won’t notice much difference. But it is a humiliating admission on India’s part that it cannot guarantee the safety of its players from the long reach of the terrorist,” the paper said.

“The casualty is not just India’s own image as an Asian success story - a country powerful and rich enough to stand above the clamour and chaos afflicting some of its neighbours.

“The disruption to the Premier League is also likely to aggravate tensions with Pakistan, which many Indians already believe is not doing enough to curb extremism,” it added.

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