London, June 2: Fans and players have often wondered how India and Pakistan end up in the same group in every global event. The answer has been revealed by the International Cricket Council (ICC) and it has admitted to fixing the draw in order to put the neighbours together.
Yesterday (June 1) was another instance of arch rivals India and Pakistan being grouped together. This time it was for the Champions Trophy 2017 One Day International tournament.
Since 2012, this is the 6th tournament in a row where the 2 teams will be in the same pool. Whenever they meet on a cricket field, it generates huge interest across the globe. Record television ratings are achieved. And due to this, ICC has manipulated the draw.
"No doubt we want to try to put India versus Pakistan in our event. 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," ICC chief executive David Richardson admitted on Wednesday (June 1) after the Champions Trophy draw. Richardson was quoted as saying this by Britain's "The Telegraph".
India and Pakistan met in 2012 World Twenty20, then in 2013 Champions Trophy, followed by 2014 World T20, 2015 World Cup and this year's World T20.
Next year's Champions Trophy sees India and Paksitan facing off at Edgbaston on June 4 (Sunday). As always it is expected to be a high-voltage contest.
The top 8 ODI sides, as on September 30, 2015 (on the ICC Rankings) will compete the Champions Trophy. India are the holders having won in 2013.