Game, Set & Match. A Pakistani and an Indian Have Teamed Up, Creating History In The Process For Both Nations At Wimbeldon.

What better a piece of evidence than the ultimate motivational force in every day life, sport. I’m not sure if you’ve been watching but Pakistan No.1 Aisam-Ul-Haq teamed up with long time friend Rohan Bopanna of India in a push for a Wimbeldon doubles title.

Yesterday of course, marked the first Pakistani to make it to the quarter finals at Wimbeldon ever. What is even more surprising is that it happened via the partnership of a citizen of neighboring India. While the tabloids and back pages will celebrate this victory as if the Kashmir issue could be solved if they lift the trophy together in London on the weekend, I won’t go outside the bounds of reality, I promise.

There is no doubt that sport has been one of the major influences in the realm of thawing relationships between countries. The olympics highlighted issues of race, cricket banned the South African team for apartheid, Serbia & Montenegro combined to form a World Cup side, the ICL gave cricketers from both sides of the border a chance to play with one another and the IPL will eventually allow Pakistani’s to play cricket on Indian soil again.

The truth is, no political wrangling can overcome the power of seeing ones heroes on TV participating and co-operating with each other in a cordial atmosphere. I’m no psychologist, but I’d say it has something to do with our seeing individuals of two hostile nations reacting cordially and the thought of the viewer being able to do the same that motivates such a theme of reconciliation through sport.

Open minded sports writers have had plenty of evidence to suggest that if India and Pakistan had been one nation, it would have probably been unstoppable in several sporting realms. Hockey for one, could have been a joint triumph and perhaps we wouldn’t be in our current slump like we are now if we had a combined team, instead of the current squad helpless to win anything of significance in the realm of Pakistans Nationals Sport. Though for the record, I think Pakistans Hockey team is the most under appreciated of all.

Personally, I don’t think Australia would have been able to set up any sort of dynasty in this fading generation of players had the likes of this guy called Sachin Tendulker and this guy called Inzamam-ul-Haq been on the same team holding up the middle order with their bats. Not to mention the two best fast bowlers in the world Wasim and Waqar  or having the best spin attack in the modern game with Mustaq Mohammad and Anil Kumble bowling alternate overs.

I won’t even get into the destruction our openers would have created. The greatest single benefit however is that we would have never had to hear Mongia’s near constant string of appeals for no reason over the course of 8 years of cricket. We would have had Rashid Latif or Moin Khan instead. The possibilities my friends, are endless.

Back to it. Doubles, Wimbeldon. Will they lift a trophy this weekend? Probably, absolutely not. They will have to take on a couple of absolute legends, including one of my favorite doubles players of all time Leander Paes, but this is not about how far they get anymore, its about the example they set and the hope that other sports personalities will do the same. We have had collaboration on one level or another in cricket and tennis. Only to see nothing short of explosive results.

“Its time we stopped ignoring each other and started co-operating” is the message our athletes are communicating to us. Perhaps we can keep telling ourselves it isn’t the right time yet or maybe we should just listen and evolve. For once.