Written by Ewan Hugo, CNN
A proud moment for the sport of cricket and for the Indian Army when the visiting Pakistan team won its first one-day international against the home side in 30 years.
But has it put an end to cross-border tension? How about a tour for the home team and the teams of neighboring nations in the One-Day International World Cup?
The sudden tournament victory over the mighty Indian side has taken the sports world by storm, with viewers around the world watching the series live, united in their admiration for the home team and opposing India’s powerful neighbors.
The two countries had a history of sporting aggression — war in 1971, a lack of sharing Olympic sports for decades, infighting over the Olympic torch.
But the win against India’s traditional arch-rival sets the stage for a new era of better relations in the fields of sport and politics, though neither side seems in a rush to sweep anything under the rug.
Sports and politics — what do they mean?
After a day and a half of national euphoria, some of the excitement has begun to abate. Pakistanis are calling for a review of the controversial wind protections for the Pakistan cricket team.
Left-arm spinner Shadab Khan was dismissed in the second match because of a wrong calculation on the wicket and teammate Faheem Ashraf and teammate Hasan Ali say the enforced changes were too severe.
In India, the team’s success has been tempered by discussion of the nature of politics in sports, with the Hindu nationalist leader Sunil Singh Bhali declaring victory an act of “soft diplomacy” by Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan.
The captain of the Indian cricket team, Virat Kohli , has apologized, saying: “I think the spirit was good throughout.”
It’s rare for governments to intervene in the world of sport.
Most sports personalities appear unaffected by politics, perhaps because politics and sport, on the most fundamental level, are two different things.
In his 1980 book “The Game,” a study of cricket in Pakistan, Haiderzadeh Idrees says: “Cricket, like life, has its dark side and surface — what happens at one end of the long field goes on at the other.”
Khan has said that sports can help bridge the gap, but he must now decide what he intends to do with the victory. Does he want to share the win with his nation? Or are his talents better deployed by the diplomatic world?
If relations between the two countries do improve in the future, much could depend on whether the players can make their home turn out full of Indian fans and flood the fields at the ICC World Cup, to be held in India and Pakistan in 2023.
The famed “Battle of the Border” could one day finally become an “Old Game,” recorded in a series of not-quite matches.
Until then, do us a favor and watch this example of sportsmanship — and Pakistan’s victory — on BBC World News .