Sunday 19 Aug 2018 | 20:20 | SYDNEY
Sunday 19 Aug 2018 | 20:20 | SYDNEY

Cricket diplomacy in Dubai?

By

Sam Roggeveen

@SamRoggeveen

8 May 2009 14:36

The just concluded cricket series between Australia and Pakistan staged to mark the opening of the 25,000 seat Dubai cricket stadium (see below; photo courtesy of Dubai Sports Council) has apparently been a great success. So much so that, with Pakistan being a cricketing no-go zone at present, Dubai is pitching to become Pakistan's cricketing home away from home. Local fans are even suggesting Dubai as a neutral venue for an India-Pakistan series, which sounds like a neat solution and perhaps a good way to improve relations between the two countries.

But my colleague Rory Medcalf has made short shrift of such arguments before — as the January 2008 Test match between Australia and India showed, cricket can just as easily drive nations apart as bring them together. That's a conclusion reinforced by Pakistani reactions to the International Cricket Council's decision to take the 2011 World Cup co-hosting rights away from Pakistan, with claims that it is an Indian plot.