Anurag Thakur requests the ICC to not put India and Pakistan in the same group at major events
This request comes on the back on heated political tension between the nations off the field.
Since the 2007 World T20, India and Pakistan have found themselves in the same group in 5 out of the 8 major events that have occurred around the globe. Barring the 2009 Champions Trophy, the Men in Blue have come out in trumps in every other game, thereby further building on their domination against their arch-rivals in big-ticket events.
But in recent times, there has been a lot of tension off the field in the political side following the attacks in the Uri from across the border and India giving it back with surgical attacks.
Keeping the prevailing tension in mind, the President of the Board of Control for Cricket in India(BCCI) Anurag Thakur has put forth a request to not put the Men in Blue and the Men in Green in the same group at ICC events in the near future.
"Keeping in mind that the government has adopted a new strategy to isolate Pakistan and in view of the public sentiment in the country, we request ICC not to put India and Pakistan in the same pool of the multi-nation tournaments,” Thakur said on Friday.
However, he added in the case the two teams played in knockout matches, then naturally the match-up could not be avoided.
"If the two countries reach the semi-finals and have to clash at that time, it is another situation which can't be avoided," he added.
Both teams have in fact been put in the same group in next year’s Champions Trophy, with the match scheduled to take place on the 4th of June at Edgbaston. The last time the two played in the event in 2013, it was India who came out trumps in a rain-affected match.
While revealing the groups for the 2017 event in the United Kingdom, the ICC Chief Executive David Richardson had said that they looked to put the two arch-rivals in the same pool , stating that from the governing body’s point of view it was critical and it gave the competition a massive kick.
“No doubt we want to try to put India versus Pakistan in our event.ts hugely important from an ICC point of view. Its massive around the world and the fans have come to expect it as well. Its fantastic for the tournament because it gives it a massive kick,” he had said at the time.
The last time the two nations had played in a bilateral series was in 2012, when Pakistan came to India to compete in a 2 T20I and 3 ODI series. It turned out to be 1-1 in the T20I series and 2-1 in favour of Pakistan in the ODIs on that occasion.