Ah, the irony of winners’ hierarchies. This week, I watched the India-Pakistan match on some illegal streaming website, which also featured a chat room for fans to opine. As could be expected on the Internet, the flowing text featured vitriol I haven’t heard (or seen) since I was in fifth grade; Pakistan-supporters alluded to cow-lovers, while some witty Indian fans came up with “Porkistan” (you’d think from the text the entire Partition could have been avoided if a few animals hadn’t happened upon the subcontinent’s grazing plains).
But now, the tables have turned: Pakistan fans will root for a victory against Australia, but in doing so, they will inadvertently root to increase India’s chances. Meanwhile, Indians will tune in for, of all things, a Pakistan victory. It’s a real cumbaya moment, but I’d hate just to mock it. This is the fun of sport, when love for the game supersedes even 60 years of mutual hatred — if only for a match against the White Man.