Cape Town - International Cricket Council (ICC) chief executive David Richardson admitted that they purposefully put India and Pakistan in the same group for the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy in England.
India and Pakistan, who join South Africa and Sri Lanka in Group B, were drawn to battle it out in Edgbaston on June 4.
According to the Telegraph, this is the fifth successive tournament in which the two teams will meet in the group stages of an ICC tournament and the first time the ICC have blatantly admitted to doing it.
“No doubt we want to try to put India versus Pakistan in our event,” said Richardson. “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.”
The seedings for the tournament were drawn on the ranking of the top eight teams at the end of September 2015. India were seeded second, while Pakistan just made the cut and were seeded eighth.
The former Proteas wicketkeeper denied that this 'fixing' will have a negative impact on the integrity or fairness of the upcoming tournament:
“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.”
Defending Champions Trophy winners, India, have played three games against Pakistan at the tournament and have lost twice.