Shaken by the terror attack on Bombay, the England team rushed back home although they were 520 miles from the scene of the crime. A fortnight later, they mustered the courage to come back for the Test matches, prompting even an old curmudgeon like Sunil Gavaskar to doff his Panama cap.
But there can be little doubt that the hostage drama at the star hotels has done enough to sow fear and scare in the hearts of tourists of the cricketing kind. Those who believe sport is a cementing agent say life must go on, and doubtless there will be poetic whispers of a Friendship Series some time soon.
Harsha Bhogle strikes a discordant note in The Indian Express:
“Can two teams playing a cricket match overcome the wounds of terrorism? Can they make the world feel a more secure place? Can they deliver a slap on the face of a terrorist? Can England vs Indian at the Chepauk quell the anger in my land?
“Can sport be a balm at all? Does it count?
“Yes, I tell myself but I am not sure if cricket can bring solace to those that are hurt. Cricket can uplift me because I have lost nobody. I played a game against Ashok Kamte, the brave officer of the Bombay police, and we laughed between deliveries. Can I go to his wife and say that Harbhajan Singh bowling to Kevin Pietersen is our response to the man who killed her husband? That everyone is being brave, that the show must go on?
Read the full column: Cricket can only do so much