EXAMINING SPORTS/CRICKET DIPLOMACY AS A TOOL TO INSTIGATE POLITICAL INTERESTS: A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF MEDIA PORTRAYAL OF CRICKETING RELATIONS BETWEEN INDIA AND PAKISTAN
With the increasing interest in games and athletic activities, sports diplomacy has been evolving as the newly developed branch of public diplomacy. Therefore, the unique positioning of sports as a major tool of classical diplomacy cannot be overlooked further.Even with the cultural and social differences among the states, sports grounds are the only platform that brings nations together and helps them in understanding each other. Sporting activities do not only connect people across the world but, also develop means for the governments to accompany the interest in the country’s’ political activities. Hence, scholars and academicians are taking interest to analyze the role of sports and sports diplomacy in international relations. Therefore, the objective of this study is to analyze how sports/cricket diplomacy is portrayed by some prominent media groups that belong to India and Pakistan. It will also find out how tone and articulation of both media platforms contrast form each other. A comparative content analysis is performed to analyze the media coverage covering cricketing relations between India and Pakistan. The research findings unveil that sport is considered as the most celebrated topic portrayed frequently in news media of the both countries. The findings also reveal that Pakistani Cricketing Actors are considered the most definitive source of information both in India and Pakistan quoted frequently with a positive valence. Competition and Human Interest frames maintain a significant share when it comes to framing news on cricket. The pattern of representing news on the cricket/sports diplomacy is more or less similar in both nations. Lastly, some valuable recommendations for future researches have also been proposed in the research study.