The cricket diplomacy that the BCCI is now forcing upon the grieving souls of Mumbai’s dead, is schlemiel raised to the nth power. Like a bird depositing pebbles in the mating game, India has been depositing dossiers while Pakistan’s sceptics get to say their lines yet again: you are going to get punched in the face again, Mr Chidambaram.

For the first time – ever – Afghanistan today played an international cricket match neighbor Pakistan, with whom it has a relationship that is sometimes fraught with uneasiness, sometimes full of professions of brotherhood. The historic cricket match...both illustrated the love/hate relationship and helped fans on both sides of the border to forget, at least for a while, the tensions that exist between their countries.

December 4, 2011

Vigorous use of India’s soft power resources — films/film stars, music, fashion, cricket, writers, academics — can, over a period, bridge the trust deficit at people-to-people level and goad the decision makers to take the plunge and transform decades of hostility in to neighbourly peace.

Bollywood and cricket will blend with diplomacy when the prime ministers of India and New Zealand hold talks Tuesday to push a free trade area pact. Egging them on to do more business will be Stephen Fleming, the Kiwi cricket icon who is the coach for the IPL-winning Chennai Super Kings.

A little over a month ago, Manmohan Singh, India’s prime minister, made one of the warmest gestures of bonhomie towards his Pakistani counterpart in years."Cricket diplomacy” raised hopes of a revival of bilateral peace talks, stalled since the devastating 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, widely blamed on Pakistan-based militants.

April 13, 2011

Speakers at a seminar titled “Cricket Diplomacy Makes a Difference” welcomed people-to-people contact between India and Pakistan on sports and cultural activities to defuse traditional tension between the governments of both the countries.

Sources in the government said that India would most likely send its cricket team first to Pakistan and then Pakistani team could tour India. “As the current season is all full and packed, it is for the BCCI to find a schedule that will suit both the countries..." the sources said.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s invitation to President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani to watch the Cricket World Cup semi-final between the two countries is not quite a googly — cricket diplomacy has been used in the past — but can something come of the gesture?