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ICC asked to stop ‘fixing’ India vs Pakistan matches in major tournaments

ICC asked to stop ‘fixing’ India vs Pakistan matches in major tournaments

Many have criticized the ICC's prioritization of commercial interests over fair competition, suggesting a focus on creating the best possible experience for all participating teams and fans.

Former England cricketer David Lloyd has launched a scathing attack on the ICC’s practice of pre-determining India vs Pakistan encounters in major tournaments. Lloyd argues that this manipulation undermines the integrity of the competition and the spirit of fair play.

Decade of pre-ordained India vs Pakistan matches

Since 2013, India and Pakistan have been inexplicably drawn into the same group stages of every ICC event, including the 50-over World Cup, the T20 World Cup, and the Champions Trophy.

While acknowledging the undeniable fan appeal of these high-voltage clashes, Lloyd argues that such deliberate scheduling removes the element of chance and excitement from the draw process.

“It’s Fixed. Trying to Manipulate”

Speaking on TalkSPORT, David Lloyd expressed his disapproval of this practice. “We talk long and hard about fixing in cricket. That’s fixed,” he said, referring to the pre-determined scheduling. “The romance of anything like this is if they do get drawn together… there’s something for spectators to look forward to. So if it happens, then it becomes an event. You can’t fix it.”

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Beyond India vs Pakistan

Lloyd further criticized the scheduling inconsistencies of the ongoing 2024 T20 World Cup. He highlighted the unfair burden placed on teams with tight turnarounds between matches, with some teams even lacking rest days altogether.

Double standards by ICC

The scheduling disparities extend beyond match density. David Lloyd pointed out that unlike the upcoming India vs England semi-final, the South Africa vs Afghanistan clash has a designated reserve day.

Additionally, India’s fixtures have conveniently been scheduled during prime-time hours in their home region, a move seemingly influenced by television viewership figures.

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“We’re manipulating tournament”

“It just isn’t fair (to the teams),” Lloyd stated. “We’re just manipulating the tournament for the benefit of a few.”

He criticized the ICC’s prioritization of commercial interests over fair competition, suggesting a focus on creating the best possible experience for all participating teams and fans.

Call for fairness and transparency

David Lloyd’s critique highlights the potential pitfalls of prioritizing commercial interests over sporting integrity. His call for a fairer and more transparent approach to scheduling in ICC tournaments has resonated with many cricket fans and pundits alike.

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