Video of J&K club cricketers mouthing Pakistan anthem goes viral

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Pak cricketersA video of club cricketers in green jersey in Jammu and Kashmir mouthing the Pakistan national anthem has created a controversy of sorts and has become the rage on social media.

The police hope to arrest them, who are absconding, after conducting a thorough investigation. The video was from a match that took place between two clubs in Ganderbal.

Sources said the match was played at Wayil playground in central Kashmir on April 2 when separatists had called for a bandh to protest against Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Jammu and Kashmir to inaugurate the Chenani-Nashri tunnel.

The commentator announced ahead of the match that the Pakistani national anthem would be played as a “mark of respect” to Pakistan. When the anthem was played, both teams, one in white and other named after Baba Darya Ud Din, a popular saint whose shrine is situated in Ganderbal, stood in attention facing each other across the pitch and sang ‘Pak Sar Zameen’ (Pakistan anthem) with hands on their hearts.

“We wanted the team and its members to look different and also wanted to show our brethren that we haven’t forgotten the Kashmir issue, so we played the anthem. We found this particular theme as appropriate and catchy,” said one of the players.

It may be noted India and Pakistan long-standing tensions have taken toll on cricket. The last time the two countries played a series was in December 2012-January 2013 when Pakistan toured India for a short series. India toured Pakistan in 2005-06 under the leadership of Rahul Dravid for three Tests and five ODIs.

Such is the hatred between the arch rivals that a Pakistani fan of Indian captain Virat Kohli was jailed for hoisting the Indian tri-colour on his home, Shahid Afridi’s Indian fan was arrested for wearing the cricketer’s jersey in Assam.