ICC admits modifying draws to put India and Pakistan in same group
The International Cricket Council (ICC) has admitted to modifying the draws in major tournaments to club India and Pakistan in the same group.The draw announced on Wednesday for 2017 Champions Trophy in England saw India and Pakistan clubbed in the same group. The defending champions India will begin their title defence against the arch-rivals at Edgbaston on June 4.”No doubt, we try to put India versus Pakistan in our event,” ICC chief executive Dave Richardson was quoted as saying to ‘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.”It is the fifth tournament in a row when both the countries will be facing each other. Moreover, matches involving India and Pakistan attract huge viewership, sometimes in millions.However, Richardson has denied any negative impact on the integrity of the game.”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.