South Asian Politics Surfaces at the Cricket World Cup 2019⁣⁣⁣

India v Pakistan is arguably the greatest rivalry in the history of the game, not only owing to the fact that both the neighbours have produced cricketers of impeccable talent over the decades but because of the underlying political tensions that have marred the two nuclear armed neighbours relationship since the time of the partition of the subcontinent in 1947.⁣⁣⁣
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At the core of these tensions is the unresolved dispute over Kashmir, a territory claimed in full but controlled by India and Pakistan.⁣⁣⁣
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While India accuses Pakistan of sponsoring cross border terrorism in Indian held Kashmir, Pakistan has maintained a near identical line when it comes to the India’s alleged role in Balochistan, where Pakistan faces a separatist insurgency of its own. Often the two countries state narratives over Kashmir and Balochistan have lead to a stifling of native narratives.⁣⁣⁣
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The latest story from the world cup started with the match between Pakistan and Afghanistan on the 29th of June where a plane flew a banner over the stadium which read: JUSTICE FOR BALOCHISTAN. It’s pertinent to mention that there was also a major scuffle reported between some Afghanistan and Pakistan fans, the reason of which was stated to be the banner.⁣⁣⁣
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On the 6th of July in the game between India and Sri Lanka a plane flew another banner, this time castigating India for ‘genocide’ in Kashmir, calling for India to ‘free’ Kashmir. While many have stated the move to be a tit for tat with respect to the earlier banner, the exact parties behind the banner flying are unidentified.⁣⁣⁣
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The governing body of cricket at the global level ICC, has expressed regret at these political expressions, and has vowed to work harder to prevent a repeat of same on both occasions.