A truly horrible business. As Selvey says in the Grauniad this morning, one of those ‘things will never be the same again’ moments.
Leaving aside the obvious questions about the short and long term viability of first class cricket in Pakistan, it raises some immediate issues for Indian cricket too. After all, on a very simplistic level, it’s no good having the biggest TV audience, and massive levels of commercial income if no one is going to be prepared to visit to play – or watch for that matter.
One thing I hadn’t properly appreciated until the Indian guy who sells me my paper every morning pointed it out: - Sri Lanka were standing in for India who were supposed to have been touring Pakistan at this time. Imagine if it had been Tendulkar, Dhoni and Yuvraj on the coach? Imagine the Indian reaction?
Two silver linings, both admittedly rather Anglo-centric selfish ones –
1. The mouth-watering prospect watching an Australia/Pakistan test match here in England. And while I think of it, India are due over here next summer aren’t they? How about a one off, winner take all, million dollar per man game between India and Pakistan – all you need is some rich businessman to stump up the money... I'm sure the ECB must know a few.
2. The possible postponement of the IPL. Yes, Fred and KP lose a decent payday – but might feel that being the stars of an England team that regains the Ashes might be worth a few bob in endorsement contracts.