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Learning to play ball with Uncle Sam

‘Namaste Trump’ event at Motera stadium set to take Indo-US relations to a new pitch.

ET Bureau|
Last Updated: Feb 21, 2020, 08.48 AM IST
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With its seating capacity of 1,10,000, Motera will not be able to accommodate all of the seven million people President Trump hopes will be present to welcome him
With its seating capacity of 1,10,000, Ahmedabad’s Motera stadium will not be able to accommodate all of the seven million people President Trump hopes will be present to welcome him
To the witticism that America and England are separated by the Atlantic Ocean and a common language could be added a further divide in the form of cricket, which while being passionately espoused in India has been almost totally supplanted on Uncle Sam’s playing fields by the sport of baseball.

Despite this divergence in the sporting life of the two former colonies of Britain, it is appropriate that the highlight of US President Donald Trump’s first official visit to India should be the welcoming event to be held at Ahmedabad’s Motera stadium.

With its seating capacity of 1,10,000, Motera will not be able to accommodate all of the seven million people President Trump hopes will be present to welcome him, the arena has played accommodative host to history, among its many milestones being that of Sunil Gavaskar scoring his 10,000th Test run.

Such landmarks apart, the shrine to cricket can be said to reflect Indo-US relations in that, like the game, these represent a narrative of glorious uncertainties, with Pakistan often playing the metaphoric ‘doosra’ in its attempts to put New Delhi on a sticky wicket on the issue of Kashmir.

While Potus is unlikely to bowl a googly regarding India’s internal affairs, neither side is slated to come within striking distance of a comprehensive trade deal that, like baseball, remains an entirely different ball game.

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