Pakistani singer Adnan Sami, who has made Mumbai his home for 10 years now, has chosen to stay away from the World Cup semifinal match between India and Pakistan Wednesday and says giving a political twist to a simple game is contrary to the fundamental spirit of sportsmanship.”I’m only remotely interested in cricket as a sport and find it ludicrous to give it a political connotation. Pakistani or Indian, we should treat the match on Wednesday as a game,” he said.
Adnan recently shot a music video with cricketer Harbhajan Singh.
“And it was so much fun! I loved the give-and-take between music and cricket. Why have we stopped looking at cricket as a sport? Why has it become a matter of life and death to some?” he said.
“We need to regain the lost pleasure of just seeing the game for what it is about. A chance for the two countries to share the same field. Giving a political twist to a simple game is contrary to the fundamental spirit of sportsmanship. Hence, what I say about the match on Wednesday is, may the best man win,” he added.
Prod him about his favourite cricketers and he said: “If I adore Sachin Tendulkar as a great batsman, I also admire Sohaib Akhtar as a great bowler. Can anyone who is an avid sports enthusiast and devoid of political learnings challenge the adulation of the two, regardless of country class or creed?”
Adnan cites the example of singing legend Lata Mangeshkar who loves cricket and draws no geo-political distinction.
“Lataji loves cricket. And I worship Lataji. I want to personally escort her to Pakistan to show her first-hand how much people there love her. Whether it’s sports or showbusiness, the differences across the border dissolve. Every Pakistani loves Lataji and Sachin.”
“In Mumbai, I was never made to feel like an outsider. So why must we think of cricketers as ‘them’ and ‘us’? It’s a game with two sides to it. As simple as that,” said Adnan.