In a prime example of why and how politics adversely affects sports, the Pakistan blind cricket team found themselves stranded in Sri Lanka after they swept the ODI series clean (3-0) on their tour to the island nation.February 21, 2019
Due to the ongoing political and military tension between India and Pakistan, the Sri Lankan Airlines cancelled all flights going to the city of Lahore. As a result, the blind cricketers of the country are unable to go back home and are involuntarily bearing added expenditure due to the extended stay.
“They have been forced to stay longer and also have to pay additional expenditure,” Chaminda Pushpakumara, the manager of the blind cricket team said.
Even though the Pakistan Blind Cricket Council has requested the Sri Lankan government for assistance, the financial toll of the athletes, who earn a fraction of what the visually-able cricketers make, has been immense.
As admitted by Pushpakumara himself, the visiting athletes had already paid for their flight tickets to Sri Lanka.
On the other hand, the escalating border tensions have also led to the Pakistani government shutting down their entire airspace and cancelling all domestic and international flights, as a result of which players are finding it extremely difficult to travel to different cities for the Pakistan Super League (PSL).
Every PSL match that was scheduled to take place in Lahore too, has been moved to Karachi.
This is why even the notion of war is always a bad idea. While the militaries are at each other's throats, it is the common and the unprivileged people who lose their lives or livelihood and are branded under “collateral damage”.
If the people halted in Sri Lanka belonged to the country's national team, it still would not have been that concerning keeping in mind the fact that they are well paid and can afford additional expenditures, but our hearts go out to the these athletes who have been stranded on their own in a foreign land, without any information of what is going on in their nation where they have family.