‘India vs Pakistan matches on merit, not for ratings’
by Ronnie Ruff
The international Cricket Council (iCC) has played down reports that they deliberately group india and Pakistan together in their major tournaments.
the rivals will play each other in the group stage of their events for the fifth consecutive time in next year’s Champions trophy, prompting chief executive Dave richardson to admit ‘it’s hugely important from an iCC point of view’.
richardson told a national newspaper: “No doubt we want to try to put india versus Pakistan in our event. 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.
“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.”
Matches between the two countries regularly attract huge television audiences; one billion reportedly watched their match in this year’s iCC World twenty20.
As india and Pakistan no longer play test or one-day series together following the Mumbai terror attacks, it has long been speculated the iCC has arranged matches to maximise inter- est and profit.
they where quick to claim richardson’s comments were taken out of context, and rankings were the number one factor in arranging the groups.
“David richardson has explained and clarified in the same interview that the groups were formed on the basis of the eight teams’ rankings as on 30 September 2015. “it is just a coincidence, like it is that Australia, england and New Zealand are in Group A, that india and Pakistan are in Group B,” an iCC spokesman said.
“the groups were determined strictly according to the rankings as at the cut-off date and in such a way as to create parity in each group, so that one group is not stronger than the other. this requires that the total ranking points in each group should be the same.
“this method has been consistently followed for all previous events and strictly with- in those parameters, it has turned out that india/Pakistan have found themselves legitimately and fairly in the same group.”
their explanation is the cumulative total of iCC seedings is 18 for both groups. Australia (1), New Zealand (4), eng- land (6) and Bangladesh (7) comprise group A. the sum total equals 18. in group B, india (2), South Africa (3), Sri Lanka (5) and Pakistan (8)’s total is also 18.