New Delhi: Pakistan and India are in the same group of the ICC Champions Trophy in 2017 and in all major events events this has become quite obvious that India and Pakistan do tend to end up in the same group. The ICC have admitted that they do tweak the draws a bit to make sure India and Pakistan are in the same group because of the commercial value associated with this high profile encounter.
“No doubt, we try to put India versus Pakistan in our event,” said ICC chief executive Dave Richardson, according to a report in ‘The Telegraph’.
“It’s hugely important from an ICC point of view. It’s massive around the world and the fans have come to expect it as well. It’s fantastic for the tournament because it gives it a massive kick.”
The ICC Champions Trophy will be the fifth event in succession where both Pakistan and India are in the same group. The matches between the arch rivals attract massive television audience and sometimes the numbers have event crossed the billion mark which is quite extraordinary.
Although some may say that this impacts the integrity of the tournament but ICC chief believes that this is not the case and this tweaking is well within borders of their code. This is also the first time that the ICC has publicly admitted that they manipulate draws.
Richardson denied that the ‘tweaking’ impacted the integrity of any tournament. “What we try and do is make sure that when you add up the rankings of the different groups, they all add up to the same number of points. You can do that in a number of ways. So long as the pools are balanced, it’s silly to avoid [the fixture] when you can fairly cater for it,” he said.