This past Saturday, while some may have been celebrating Valentine’s Day, the Longhorn Cricket Club hosted its annual match screening for the International Cricket Council Cricket World Cup in the Jester Auditorium. This initiative itself is of huge significance every year, as members of competing teams unite to host the event. This year, India and Pakistan squared off, with India winning 50-47 as around 400 fans in Texas watched from 9,200 miles away.
The Longhorn Cricket Club is an organization composed of about 20 individuals from the Indian subcontinent. Its members actively participate in regional and national tournaments. The club used the screening as an opportunity to raise money by selling refreshments and collected $240 for an upcoming tournament in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The Longhorn Cricket Club will be representing UT at the American College Cricket National Tournament, which will begin March 11. College teams from all over the country will compete with each other in this game.
India and Pakistan possess one of the most intense rivalries in the world, with this year’s match attracting 1 billion viewers worldwide.
The rivalry originates from the extensive communal violence and differences that erupted in the 1947 partition, when Pakistan was formed and separated from India as an independent state. Since then, additional conflicts have cemented this rivalry between two nations that had once played on the same cricket team.
The rivalry transcends sports, and now, in the 21st century, the tension is omnipresent with constant claims and accusations thrown back and forth between the neighboring countries.
It is precisely for this reason that the meetings of these countries on the wicket are so important. The matches offer opportunities to ameliorate conflicts as fans travel to either country in order to support their nation and share their passion for the sport.
And now, more than 67 years after the partition, although our current generation has not witnessed the momentous initial sacrifices made by the establishment of either of the independent states, cricket plays an instrumental role in bringing excitement and momentarily breaking the continuous tension between India and Pakistan.
We often forget to look beyond our differences and look at what holds us together. The combination of culture, ethics and religion has blessed us with regional trade and our shared passion for sports. Our nationalities aside, cricket has been and will continue to be the source of excitement for both Indians and Pakistanis during this time of the year. In the end, the game brought peace more than anything.
Saifullah is a neuroscience sophomore from Richardson.