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ICC Once Again Looks to Cash in on India vs Pakistan Clash by Putting Arch-Rivals in Same Group of 2022 T20 World Cup

India and Pakistan will face each other in group stage of 2022 T20 World Cup. (AFP Image)

India and Pakistan will face each other in group stage of 2022 T20 World Cup. (AFP Image)

The 2021 WC clash between two teams clocked a record reach of 167 million viewers, making it the most viewed T20 International till date, the official broadcaster of the event claimed.

The schedule for the 2022 ICC T20 World Cup is out and once again the India vs Pakistan clash is going to be the biggest highlight of the group stage. The two arch-rivals will face each other in the opening clash of the tournament. The neighbouring countries shared a fierce rivalry on the cricket field but in recent times, they have faced each other only in ICC tournaments due to political tensions. The last time when the two teams clashed, Pakistan outclassed India in the 2021 T20 WC group stage clash. It was India’s first defeat to Pakistan in the ICC WC events.

The cricket fans love to see the two teams playing against each other as their on-field rivalry has arguably no match in the cricketing world and ICC has been cashing hard on the same in recent times.

Starting with the 2012 T20 World Cup, the two teams have been potted in the same group in every ICC tournament so far – 2013 Champions Trophy, 2015 ODI WC, 2017 CT, 2019 ODI WC, 2021 T20 WC and now 2022 T20 WC in Australia.

Putting the two teams in the same group might give ICC some assurance of a jam-packed Melbourne Cricket Ground which has a massive 90,000 capacity. India vs Pakistan clash has the capability to fill any stadium with fans.

Apart from that, the mega clash also helped the broadcasters to shoot up their TRP.

The 2021 WC clash between two teams clocked a record reach of 167 million viewers, making it the most viewed T20 International till date, the official broadcaster of the event claimed.

“With a reach of 167 million, the highly-anticipated India-Pakistan clash on October 24th, an event that saw the arch-rivals meet at an ICC tournament after two years, is now the most viewed T20I match, exceeding the previous
high–India-West Indies 2016 ICC World T20 semi-finals,” the release said.

“The India-Pakistan match has created history by clocking a record reach of 167 million viewers, making it the most viewed T20I match till date,” a Star India spokesperson was quoted as saying.

Meanwhile, the knockout contest is expected to engage more viewership as compared to the group stage but there is always uncertainty over the fixtures of knockout stages and ICC might not want to take that risk.

In Group 2, India and Pakistan will be accompanied by South Africa and Bangladesh and the winner of Group B and runners-up of Group A.

After clashing with Pakistan at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, India will take on Group A runner-up on October 27 at the SCG and then square off against South Africa in Perth followed by Bangladesh on November 2 (Adelaide Oval) and then Group B winner on November 6 at the MCG.

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first published:January 21, 2022, 19:56 IST