Leading article: A nation hit for six

Share
Related Topics

For a country as obsessed with cricket as India, the Indian cricket board's announcement that the final stages of the Premier League will not take place in the country is a serious blow.

For years, India has been seeking to "decouple" itself – as the phrase goes – in the eyes of the world from its troubled neighbour, Pakistan. Now it has been forced to recognise that the decoupling process is largely an illusion. The shadow of Pakistan's agony and of its growing Islamist insurgency hangs over India after all.

The decision that the matches could not take place on home turf was inevitable, however, once the government had declared that it could not provide the guarantees on players' safety that the board had sought. Delhi's position is that the security services would be overstretched if they had to cover the high-profile cricket matches as well as the general election in which voting takes place in phases from mid-April to mid-May. As a result, the IPL has been forced to sound out other venues in England and South Africa.

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.

Inevitably, the decision will suggest that the determined foes of democracy, the same people who brought terror to the heart of Mumbai last November and who then launched a deadly assault on the touring Sri Lankan cricket team in Pakistan, have notched up another victory.

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. The fact that Pakistan's weak, embattled government says the extremists hate them far more than they hate India will be of little consolation. If lives have been saved, no one can for a moment dispute that the right decision has been made. But it is lamentable for all that, a no-win situation.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Senior QA Engineer - Agile, SCRUM

£35000 - £50000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior QA Engineer (Agil...

Marketing Executive - West Midlands - £28,000

£26000 - £28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Digital Marketing Executive (SEO, PP...

Retail Business Analyst

£40000 - £50000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our retail client ...

Senior C++ Developer

£400 - £450 Per Annum possibly more for the right candidate: Clearwater People...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

i Editor's Letter: We are winning the fight against extreme poverty and hunger. It's time to up the ante

Oliver Duff Oliver Duff
David Cameron addresses No campagn supporters in Aberdeen  

Scottish independence: Cameron faces a choice between destroying his country or his party

Matthew Norman
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week