- Cricket matches between India and Pakistan are seen as a form of “Jihad” by Pakistan, driven by historical animosity.
- India playing cricket with Pakistan tends to normalize Pakistan’s image and downplay Pakistani terrorism.
- Pakistani cricketers are little more than walking proselytizers who openly express a desire for the Islamic conquest of India (Ghazwa-e-Hind).
- The cricket administrators in India and globally have failed to address the issues of Pakistani cricketers’ bad behavior during India-Pakistan matches, fearing accusations of Islamophobia.
“Serious sport has nothing to do with fair play. It is bound up with hatred, jealousy, boastfulness, disregard of all rules, and sadistic pleasure in witnessing violence. In other words, it is war minus the shooting.”  – George Orwell, The Sporting Spirit, 1945
When India and Pakistan face off in a cricket match, it’s not just another game – it’s all but war. At least, that’s how the Pakistanis have always felt about it. Because the Islamic country has lost all four wars against India, the only place they can hope to defeat India is in sports. Therefore, the Pakistanis treat every match against India as Islamic jehad.
Back in 1982, G Parthasarathy, India’s Consul General in Karachi, asked a Pakistani commentator what motivated the cricketer Imran Khan to bowl with venom. According to the commentator, when Khan was asked why he bowled with such fire against India, he replied: “I do not regard it as a game. I think of Kashmir and regard it as a jihad.”
Combined with the drama of the Pakistani cricket team offering namaz on the field, their jehadi motivation has injected an unhealthy dose of religious fundamentalism into cricket. With Hindus in the stands now beginning to counter it with their own religious slogans, the one-upmanship could escalate out of control and possibly lead to physical clashes. In this backdrop, it’s important to have an honest conversation about whether it is in India’s interests to continue playing cricket with a jehad-obsessed apology to a country.
Reasons against playing
Let’s dive straight into the reasons why India must not play cricket against Pakistan.
Firstly, Pakistan is an artificial country of incompatible ethnic groups that virulently hate each other. The only time these Punjabi, Pathan, Saraiki, and Sindhi Muslims come together is when the Pakistan cricket team plays India. Cricket acts like the glue that periodically makes the disintegrating Islamic country stick together. Indians, therefore, must not do anything that delays the disintegration process.
Secondly, by playing cricket, India contributes to Pakistan’s mainstreaming. As retired Major Gaurav Arya explains: “Pakistan is on life support…It is almost a global pariah. It should sit next to North Korea, not India. But when India plays Pakistan…for that brief moment, Pakistan becomes a normal state. The more we engage with Pakistan, the more normal Pakistan seems to the world. Pakistan uses India’s good name to gain some international credibility. India may win the cricket match, but it loses the battle….This is India’s worst and most costly blunder.”
Thirdly, India’s hospitality must not be lavished on the Pakistani team when Pakistani terrorists are killing Indian soldiers in Kashmir. It speaks of India’s collective immaturity that millions of fans were glued to the game days after Indian soldiers died fighting Pakistani terrorists. How can the lives of Indian soldiers be less important than an inconsequential game? India must boycott Pakistan until the country forsakes terrorism and becomes a normal neighbor.
Fourthly, Pakistani cricketers in India are treated like celebrities. They begin to believe they are superstars, without whom cricket would not sell in India. A similar claim was made by Pakistani artists. According to Hindi movie playback singer Abhijeet, Pakistani artists working in Bollywood had become so arrogant that they used to brag that without them, Bollywood films would not sell. Pakistani cricketers have the same mentality of hardcore Islamists, who have a deep sense of entitlement acquired from madrassas and their families. They believe they can enjoy Indian hospitality, earn megabucks in India, and then snub India because a Muslim has religious sanction to take anything from a Hindu.
They (Pakistani cricketers) believe they can enjoy Indian hospitality, earn megabucks in India, and then snub India because a Muslim has religious sanction to take anything from a Hindu.
Fifthly, Bollywood starlets try to hook up with some of the cricketers in order to boost their careers. These actresses are just trying to grab some cheap publicity, but the delusional Pakistanis go around claiming that Indian women like Pakistani men. This is highly insulting to any self-respecting Indian.
And finally, Pakistani cricketers are rotten guests. Former IAS officer Sanjay Dixit, who was a member of the Rajasthan Cricket Association, reveals how Pakistani players abused Indian hospitality during the initial years of the Indian Premier League (IPL): “The Pakistanis used to spoil the atmosphere of the dressing room. While some of them were involved in Islamic proselytization activities, others were performing namaz in public, some were demanding they be served beef, and a few were heard hurling swearing abuses.” Incidentally, Rajasthan is India’s most vegetarian state, and beef is taboo there. Clearly, Pakistanis have no respect for Indian customs.
Trenchant Hinduphobia of Pakistanis
Now let’s explore the deluge of jehadi invective and Hinduphobia coming from the Pakistani public, cricketers, administrators, and politicians. It is well known that Pakistan is a country born out of hatred. Just like the Jew is caricatured by both Islamic and Christian fundamentalists, the Hindu is a hated figure among Muslims of the subcontinent. The Pakistani obsession with India and Hindus is so strong that he simultaneously hates, mocks, ridicules, and envies the Hindus.
In 2009, when Pakistani players were banned from the IPL (because of their refusal to condemn the 2008 attack on Mumbai by Pakistani terrorists), cricketer Sohail Tanvir’s frustration reached peak level, and he couldn’t restrain himself from showing his true mindset. Asked for his comment on a TV channel, he replied: “This is the Hindu mindset; they have revealed their true nature. What can you do about it?” To which the anchors add: “But that’s the Hindu baniya (trader) mindset. They will cite the name of Ram while stabbing you.”
In a 2020 interview with a Pakistani TV channel, fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar expressed his desire for the fulfillment of Ghazwa-e-Hind – the Islamic prophecy of an Islamic invasion and conquest of the entire Indian subcontinent.
Akthar said: “It is written in our scriptures that Ghazwa-e-Hind will take place and the Attock River will twice become red with blood. Forces from Afghanistan will reach Attock. After that, armies will rise from Shamal Mashriq (a region located north of the Arabian Peninsula). Various contingents will arrive from Uzbekistan and nearby areas. All of this refers to Khorasan, a historical region that extended till Lahore. After conquering Kashmir, the Islamic armies will, Inshallah, move forward (that is, enter India).”
“It is written in our scriptures that Ghazwa-e-Hind will take place and the Attock River will twice become red with blood. Forces from Afghanistan will reach Attock. After that, armies will rise from Shamal Mashriq (a region located north of the Arabian Peninsula). Various contingents will arrive from Uzbekistan and nearby areas… After conquering Kashmir, the Islamic armies will, Inshallah, move forward (that is, enter India)” – Shoaib Akhtar, Pakistani cricketer
Jinit Jain of OpIndia points out that it is pertinent to note the Islamist doctrine endorsed by Akhtar is often cited by terrorists to justify their attacks in India. “Many Pakistanis still believe that their country was created for the express purpose of leading the Islamic world and fulfilling the prophecy of Ghazwa-e-Hind. This doctrine of capturing India and turning it into an Islamic state is exploited by terror organizations to recruit young and impressionable youth into the fold of terrorism, indoctrinating them into believing that conquering the lands of ‘non-believers’ is their holy duty.”
Akhtar has also endorsed the two-nation theory, which divided India in 1947 and created Islamic Pakistan. According to the theory, which was started by fundamentalist Indian Muslims and propagated by Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Hindus and Muslims cannot live together in harmony, and hence the country should be divided.
Incidentally, Akhtar has a massive following in India and has made a killing as an expert commentator on Indian TV channels. Despite openly professing his desire to commit genocide in India, many Hindus, lacking Shatrubodh (or a sense of the enemy) continue to lap up his rambling videos.
In the 2021 T-20 World Cup, when their team registered a rare victory against India, the whole of Pakistan went into a religious frenzy. Interior minister Sheikh Rasheed declared: “Today, Islam has won.” Former Pakistan captain and pacer Waqar Younis commented on a popular TV program that his favorite moment of the match was when Mohammed Rizwan offered namaz on the ground in front of Hindus. “It was special for me.”
Such are the Islamist zombies that Indian cricketers play against and fraternize with.
Pakistanis as proselytizers
Fraternizing with Pakistani players can have unsavory consequences. As the concept of separation between state and religion does not exist in Islam, and because it insists that every Muslim must also be an active religious recruiter, the Pakistanis take Tabligh (or proselytization) seriously. Virtually every member of the Pakistani cricket team is a mullah in his heart and believes that by inviting non-Muslims into his faith, he is ensuring the passage of his soul into Jannat – the Islamic heaven.
In January 2023, a video of Saeed Anwar narrating stories of Islamic conversions of non-Muslims went viral on social media. The former Pakistani batter is heard saying, “Mashallah, did you see how many people accepted Islam during the World Cup? Allah has made it possible. (South African cricketer) Hashim Amla has made many people convert to Islam. An entire Hindu family became Muslim because of Hashim Amla…. Allah has bestowed all of you with talent…. Do the work of Prophet Muhammad.”
Like many Pakistani ex-cricketers, Anwar, who now works as a religious preacher, made another highly controversial statement: “All 6 billion non-Muslims will burn in hell. Let’s save them by converting them to Islam.”
While the vast majority of statements by Pakistani cricketers belong in the realm of hate, there are ridiculously funny ones, too. In a bid to entice non-Muslims, Saqlain Mushtaq, a former bowler, offered his expert opinion on how a batter can beat the laws of physics, biology, chemistry, and probability and transform into a world champion. Mushtaq said: “If you convert to Islam, your batting average doubles.”
The harsh truth about Pakistani cricketers is that no matter if they are educated or not, well-traveled or not, look modern or not, their unwavering focus is on spreading Islam. They may act friendly on TV and hug the Indian captain Virat Kohli, but what motivates them is their belief that they are foot soldiers in Islamic armies that will one day conquer the world. This is why Pakistanis have no problems promoting casual bigotry against non-Muslims, especially the Indian team. For them, cricket offers a platform to brazenly push the Islamist agenda, exploiting the extensive reach and recognition that the sport offers. The irony is that cricket’s immense reach and growth is purely due to the vast size of the Indian (aka Hindu) market. Hindus are thus enriching these Pakistani cricket mullahs and enabling their own conversion.
Meanwhile, the Board of Control for Cricket in India and the International Cricket Council are doing nothing to crack down on Pakistan’s Cricket Jehad. The paralysis of cricket’s administrators could be attributed to these reasons:
- Both the BCCI and ICC are sleeping on the job.
- It is a cynical ploy to let the temperatures rise on the field and on social media. Bingo, up go the ratings!
- Cricket administrators are afraid of being called Islamophobic – one of the most ridiculous words ever coined. The truth is that it is the Islamists who have phobias about all other religions, not the other way around.
While you might say there is no such thing as bad publicity, cricket is no longer the only game in town in India. Fans are switching loyalties to non-cricketing sports as rising incomes allow Indians to participate and excel globally in a wide variety of events. The tepid interest in the opening phase of the ongoing ODI World Cup was mainly due to Indians being riveted to the 2023 Asian Games in China. For many Indians, cricket is becoming a big yawn as it’s the same eight countries playing each other all the time. Many are put off by the decline in the quality of international cricket. If the half-empty stands at the World Cup are an indication, the game is down to its core fans. Will Cricket Jehad put these diehard fans off too? It’s a risk that the BCCI and ICC can’t afford to take.