Asia’s blood rivals: the India versus Pakistan cricket match

Of the most frequent two contributors to this blog, one is Indian (Robin), one is Pakistani (me), so we like news like this from the New York Times:

_40904159_shivamAs India and Pakistan faced off here in Mohali, in the heart of a divided Punjab Province, for the first test match of a six-week long cricket series, Indians and Pakistanis greeted each other with a mixture of intense curiosity, apprehension, guilt, affection, longing, hope.

Spectators wandered around the stadium here with an Indian flag painted on one cheek and a Pakistani flag on the other. On the streets nearby, sari shops announced discounts for “our friends from Pakistan.” Local families took perfect strangers into their homes and refused to take any money. Inside Indian living rooms, Pakistanis traded stories about weddings and children, the quality of the roads, the price of chickens and motorbikes.

Amid the enthusiasm, ordinary Indians and Pakistanis uttered the unthinkable. “There is no difference between us,” said Naveed Ahmed, of Bahalwalnagar, in the Pakistani Punjab. It was his first time in India.

Adding an explicitly political flavor to the game, President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan is expected to attend a match during the series, most likely on April 2 in the Indian city of Kochi…

The Indian prime minister, Manmohan Singh, was himself born in what is now Pakistan. The Pakistani president, General Musharraf, was born in New Delhi.

More here. Oh, and the match itself has now ended in a draw. Details here.