It’s estimated that a television audience of more than a billion people watched India play Pakistan in the semi-final of the world cup of cricket. To put that in perspective, around 0.7 billion people tuned in for the final of the last football world cup in South Africa.
At stake, in sporting terms, was the chance to contest the world cup final against regional neighbours Sri Lanka. India won as it happens, by 29 runs for those who understand cricket. But even for those who don’t have the slightest idea what the sport is, the match is still of great significance.
This is the first time either country has hosted the other in a cricket match since the Mumbai attacks perpetrated by Pakistani-based militants. Relations between India and Pakistan, tense at the best of times, have been at a new low ever since.
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh invited his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani to the match in the Indian town of Mohali. They shook hands with the players and each other before sitting down to watch the most eagerly anticipated game of cricket in the region for decades. They are calling it “cricket diplomacy”.
Yesterday officials from both nuclear-armed countries agreed to mutual visits to investigate the attack in Mumbai which left 174 people dead. Last month they decided to resume peace talks.
Pakistan’s government declared a half day holiday to allow its cricket-mad population to enjoy the game while in India, many people left work early to gather around giant screens. The rivalry between mainly Hindu India and predominantly Muslim Pakistan runs deep in political and cultural terms. It is most evident however in cricket, which is almost a religion in itself on the sub-continent.
Indian cricket fans, and there are hundreds of millions of them, are celebrating their team’s success while the Pakistan players bow out of the tournament with their heads held high.
The long term winner may be Indian and Pakistani relations.
- 1Berlusconi linked with a shock return to government – in Russia!
- 2French actor Gérard Depardieu ‘a threat to Ukraine national security’
- 3Nasa announces the discovery of an earth-like planet
- 4Bobbi Kristina Brown, Whitney Houston’s daughter, dies
- 5Coach has its roof sheared off in low tunnel near Lille
- 1euronews live TV - News | euronews : the latest international news as video on demand
- 2Russia unveils ‘straight’ flag, internet responds
- 3Seven reasons why Yanis Varoufakis is now a political legend
- 4Greek crisis: ‘Agreement reached’ after marathon talks
- 5Nasa announces the discovery of an earth-like planet
- 6[LIVE UPDATES] Greek debt deadline looms
- 7Is Saudi Arabia outlawing rainbows for being gay?
- 8Pluto: New Horizons space probe provides closest-ever pictures
- 9French actor Gérard Depardieu ‘a threat to Ukraine national security’
- 10Latest News Bulletin
- 11International news | euronews, latest international news
- 12International breaking news | euronews online world breaking news in video
- 13BREAKING: Formal nuclear deal reached with Iran, says diplomat
- 14Greece votes ‘No’ in overwhelming rejection of bailout proposals
- 15Berlusconi linked with a shock return to government – in Russia!
- 16At least 10 dead in explosion in Turkish town close to border with Syria
- 17Greece clinches deal with eurogroup after marathon talks
- 18‘Imposed’ bailout deal must be implemented, says Greek PM
- 19Istanbul Gay pride quashed by riot police, rubber bullets and water cannon
- 20Israel angry as Iran and West talk up nuclear deal
Latest world news
Channel Tunnel: one dies, COBRA meets in London
Syria: counting the humanitarian cost
USA: Israeli spy Pollard to be released after 30 years in jail
Outrage after Zimbabwe’s Cecil the lion is killed by an American dentist
Ukraine bans French actor Gerard Depardieu over support for Crimea annexation
Wires > News
- 10:57 CET Saudi soldier killed in shooting in eastern district – SPA
- 10:51 CET Poland’s richest man, Jan Kulczyk, dies at 65
- 09:50 CET Fabius, visiting Tehran, invites Rouhani to France
- 09:38 CET Merkel’s Bavarian ally says Grexit would cause ‘utter chaos’
- 09:03 CET Chinese airport closed after arson attack aboard plane
- 08:43 CET More than 2,000 migrants tried to enter Channel Tunnel in France
- 08:11 CET Pakistan police say kill leader of banned sectarian group
- 07:45 CET Malaysian probe into fund scandal stalls after PM sacks deputy