Millennium Post

ICC admits putting Ind, Pak in same group was deliberate

India and Pakistan are set to meet in the group stage of Champions Trophy in England next year, making the mouthwatering clash a reality for the fifth tournament in succession.

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

Richardson, however, denied that the constant clash between the arch-rivals affects the fairness of ICC events. “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 added.

The draw for the eight-team tournament was announced here on Wednesday. The Asian powerhouses will go head to head at Edgbaston, Birmingham, on June 4.

 The 18-day tournament will run from June 1 to 18 and will also see matches played at the Cardiff Wales Stadium in Cardiff and The Oval in London.India lead Group B, which also comprises third seeds South Africa, fifth seeds Sri Lanka and eighth seeds Pakistan.
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