ICC admits fixing draws to put India and Pakistan in same group

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ICC admits fixing draws to put India and Pakistan in same group

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Arun S Kaimal

06/02/2016

The International Cricket Council on Wednesday admitted that the draws for world tournaments are usually fixed to get India and Pakistan into the same group. The draw for the 2017 Champions Trophy was announced yesterday with the arch-rivals once again making it to the same group.

The 2017 Champions Trophy will be the fifth tournament in succession where India and Pakistan are scheduled to meet each other in the group stage. With the matches between the two South Asian rivals attracting huge media attention and audiences world over, there were suspicions that the cricket governing body was tweaking the draws in order to have the lucrative fixture. Confirming all the suspicions, ICC Chief executive Dave Richardson admitted on Wednesday that the cricketing body has been fixing the draws for the high-profile match.

“No doubt we want to try to put India versus Pakistan in our event,” ICC chief executive Dave Richardson told 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.”

However, Richardson denied that the fixing of the draws were having a negative impact on the integrity and fairness of the 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,” Richardson was quoted as saying by the Telegraph.

In the 2017 Champions Trophy, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and South Africa are part of Group B, while Australia, hosts England, New Zealand, and Bangladesh make up Group A.

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