India and Pakistan are contending this Sunday June 18 in London in the last of the Cricket Champions Trophy, a competition that unites the eight best countries on the planet. The notice excites in Delhi and Islamabad a fever strange.
This is the first meeting at this level for ten years when India became world champion beating her eternal rival. This Sunday, more than a billion viewers will follow this game for which India is the big favorite, but once again the stakes go beyond the sports.
In Pakistan, cricket is regularly used as a tool of an anti-Indian nationalist struggle. And this sport, omnipresent in all strata of society, galvanizes patriotic feelings. He appears to encapsulate the extremely solid pressures between the two foe siblings of the subcontinent, as in the debated area of Kashmir where the outline line is taken each week under crossfire.
And yet in the past, cricket has proved to be an effective diplomatic weapon. The fair play systematically displayed in the stadiums even seems to play a therapeutic role against the hate slogans that sweep on social networks.
Military and political tensions do not allow to consider in the short term a meeting at home between the two nuclear powers. It would be, however, according to many observers, the beginning of a path towards peace.
On the sporting side, India is the big favorite of this final of the trophy of the champions. But also for the semifinal of the world hockey league which is also played this Sunday in England.