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On the game: How an India-Pak cricket cup came to be played … in Canada

Ruthless multinationals battling for media rights to transmit major sports events are whipping up nationalist aggression and raking in massive profits, says Mike Marqusee

What is the fiercest rivalry in today’s non-stop, televisual carnival of global sport? Rangers v Celtic? Real Madrid v Barcelona? The Yankees v the Red Sox? Could it be the 110-year-old Ashes battle between England and Australia? No. I would submit that none of these compares in emotional intensity, or in social and political resonance, with the cricket rivalry between India and Pakistan. It is today’s salient example of George Orwell’s definition of international sport as ‘war minus the shooting.’ That has made it a honeypot for multinational corporations, satellite television broadcasters and other players in the multibillion pound global sports industry, notably Mark McCormack and his International Management Group, the world’s largest and most aggressive sports marketing conglomerate. Continue reading

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