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Why is India-Pakistan an early fixture in ICC tournaments? The decades-long rivalry explained

India, Six Sports

Over the years, the rivalry between India and Pakistan has been intensified. People in both countries watch the match with full concentration. Both nations want to win in the match.

It had always been India who had upstaged Pakistan in multilateral tournaments such as the ICC ODI World Cup and the ICC T20 World Cup.

The bilateral series between the two nations have stopped since 2013. This is because of the political turmoil between the two. So, on October 23, it will once again be an India-Pakistan clash that will be viewed by millions around the world.

The clash between the arch-rivals allows the ICC to rake in lots of cash for their coffers.

Let’s have a look at some of the questions and explain the answers as to why an India-Pakistan clash is such a big deal.

India-Pakistan Clash Questions Decoded

When is the match between the two arch-rivals?

Why is India-Pakistan an early fixture in ICC tournaments? The decades-long rivalry explained, Six Sports

The match will be held on the opening weekend at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground. It is being estimated that around 90,000 spectators will be allowed to watch the match on the ground. It will also be the first encounter between the two after last year’s ICC T20 World Cup tournament in the UAE where Pakistan broke their record of zero wins against India, defeating the latter by 10 wickets.

How are the groups formed before an ICC event?

It is based on the seedings and team rankings and after India and Pakistan are put in the same group.

Why do India and Pakistan always have an early fixture in major ICC events?

It’s because this clash is much-awaited by people on both sides of the border. So, if the two teams are placed in different pools, then the chances of having a clash would become nil. Plus, it gives a lot of viewership, discussion points, and lots of excitement. The ICC also does not want to be at a disadvantage and not make profits out of this old rivalry. Thus, the fixture remains the biggest one to date in all ICC events.

How have the viewership figures been for India-Pakistan matches in T20 World Cups?

Why is India-Pakistan an early fixture in ICC tournaments? The decades-long rivalry explained, Six Sports

According to BARC, the viewership of the 2021 ICC T20 World Cup match between India and Pakistan was viewed by 167 million people on just television in India. If we see the other platforms, then this number was 273 million worldwide and 50 million OTT viewership.

When was the last India-Pakistan match played Down Under?

The last face-off between the two nations in Australia was the marquee event of the ICC ODI World Cup 2015 at the Adelaide Oval, where India sailed to victory after Kohli scored a hundred in that match. It was a sold-out game with tickets selling hours before the match.

Why is India-Pakistan an early fixture in ICC tournaments? The decades-long rivalry explained, Six Sports
Why is India-Pakistan an early fixture in ICC tournaments? The decades-long rivalry explained, Six Sports

Before this, the two sides squared off in the 1999-2000 Triangular One-Day series where a Sachin Tendulkar– led India couldn’t make it to the finals of the tournament.

Why is India-Pakistan an early fixture in ICC tournaments? The decades-long rivalry explained, Six Sports

Going back even further, in the 1985 World Championship of Cricket, India beat Pakistan twice in the tournament under Sunil Gavaskar’s leadership and won the tournament.

Why is India-Pakistan an early fixture in ICC tournaments? The decades-long rivalry explained, Six Sports

Why aren’t the two sides playing any bilateral series for a decade now?

The clear answer to this question is that the political situation is tense between the neighbors. Even if the BCCI wants to hold a bilateral series, it will have to take permission from the Indian government. The reason given by the Indian government is that if a bilateral series takes place between the two nations, it will encourage terrorist activities from Pakistan in India and hence they’re not giving permission.

This is also the reason why Pakistani players have not featured in the IPL since 2008.

That’s why both sides have no option but to meet in multilateral events of the ICC.

What have the two boards faced after this freeze?

For the BCCI, it’s not much of a problem. Through IPL and national games that India plays, they get super-rich and earn a lot of money in the process. That’s why they are a much wealthier organization as compared to the Pakistan Cricket Board. The BCCI’s coffers remain full throughout the year.

When it comes to the PCB, they are not so lucky financially. They got embroiled in two conflicts- the first was the conflict with Afghanistan and the second one was the terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team in 2009 when they visited Pakistan.

Although Pakistan is seeing a return to international cricket, no other series brings as much pressure as the one against India.

PCB is trying to bring up the issue across forums so that a bilateral series could be held between India and Pakistan.

Why is India-Pakistan an early fixture in ICC tournaments? The decades-long rivalry explained, Six Sports

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