New Delhi: An India-Pakistan match always has phantasmagorical elements attached to it; cricket fans all over the world intensely swear allegiance to this ‘historical’ confrontation when it is aired on television. The International Cricket Council (ICC) said on Thursday that the draws for global tournaments are usually adjusted to get India and Pakistan together on the same pitch, a statement which might be accepted widely as ‘understandable.’

ICC’s chief executive Dave Richardson said that there was no doubt that the ICC tried to put together India and Pakistan into the same group. “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 said.

Richardson reiterated the established fact that whenever India and Pakistan are put together in the same group in an important event making their clash imminent, the tournament gained an unfathomable popularity.

The draw for the 2017 Champions Trophy in England has once again witnessed India and Pakistan lodged together in the same group. On June 4 at Edgbaston, the Indian cricket team will face their arch-rivals.

This is the fifth tournament where India and Pakistan have been consecutively lodged together in the same group. Asked about whether this slight tweaking in the draws entailed for any negative backlashes or whether it dulled the integrity of the tournament, Richardson said, “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.”

This is the first time the International Cricket Council publicly admitted placing India and Pakistan together in the group stages.

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