India and Pakistan have contributed to some of the most memorable moments in cricketing history. The on-field rivalry between the two cricket teams have been among the most-watched, followed duels in sports.
Be it Pakistan legend Javed Miandad mocking the then Indian wicket-keeper Kiran More in the 1992 Cricket World Cup, Sachin Tendulkar's 2003 World Cup classic or the final of the inaugural World T20 in 2007, the two neighbouring countries have contributed to the monetary and entertainment value of the gentleman's game.
However, a turbulent border that has been marred by constant crisis has had its impact on the relationship between the two countries. Cricketing relations have been among the worst hit.
The ties between the two cricketing giants have now hit a new low after the recent attack carried out at an Army camp in Jammu and Kashmir allegedly by militants from Pakistan that killed 19 Indian soldiers. India, reportedly retaliated with surgical strikes across LoC in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir targeting terror launchpads.
Miandad has now hit out at Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying his nation will not be forced to take the backfoot fearing unavailing threats.
Speaking to a Pakistani news channel, a fuming Miandad said: "We are ready for martyrdom. Our nation cannot be cowed down by hollow threats."
Notably, Indian cricket's administrative body, Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) chairman Anurag Thakur had requested the International Cricket Council (ICC) to not group India and Pakistan together in ICC tournaments.
India and Pakistan have stopped playing bilateral cricket series since 2012. However, their meetings in international tournaments have drawn huge crowds and have been highly profitable ones for the organisers. The two teams have once again been grouped together for the 2017 Champions Trophy in England.
Also, India's cash-rich cricket tournament, Indian Premier League, has been devoid of any player from the country's neighbours since the second edition.
"Keeping in mind that the government has adopted a new strategy to isolate Pakistan and in view of the public sentiment in the country, we request ICC not to put India and Pakistan in the same pool of the multi-nation tournaments," Thakur had said.
Former India captain Sourav Ganguly had also opined that Pakistan should stop cross-border terrorism for cricket ties to resume between the two countries.
Notably in 2015, when the then presidents of the two cricket boards decided to meet in Mumbai to discuss about the fate of a proposed bilateral series in December, activists from the city stormed BCCI headquarters asking the Pakistani officials to head back home.
Meanwhile, former Pakistan T20 skipper Shahid Afridi expressed his concerns against warmongering through a series of tweets.
Pakistan is a peace loving nation,y talk abt extreme measures when things can be resolved through dialogues. Pakistan wants cordial 1/2— Shahid Afridi (@SAfridiOfficial) September 29, 2016