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The India-Pakistan cricket rivalry has always been one of the most thrilling spectacles in the sport. Their encounters are steeped in history and passion, and every match is a fierce contest. But is the magic fading due to overexposure?

Since their last bilateral series in 2012-13, India and Pakistan have consistently faced each other in ICC events. From the 2013 Champions Trophy to every World Cup and T20 World Cup since, these two teams have clashed regularly, especially in the group stages. This predictable scheduling has raised eyebrows, and former English cricketer and commentator David Lloyd is not a fan.

David Lloyd Raises Question On Pakistan-India Games

In a recent TalkSPORT interview, Lloyd expressed his frustration with the ICC’s habit of placing India and Pakistan in the same group to ensure their matchups. He believes that the spontaneity and ‘romance’ of the draw should be preserved.

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“It’s fixed,” he said bluntly. “It’s just fixed for a major event. The romance of anything like this is if they do get drawn together – not that they are – but if they do, there is a romance to it. There’s something for spectators to look forward to. So if it happens, then it becomes an event. The game itself is an event. You can’t fix it,” Lloyd said.

Scheduling Concerns

Lloyd’s concerns go beyond just the rivalry. He pointed out several issues with the 2024 T20 World Cup schedule, such as too few rest days and inconsistent rules for the semi-finals.

He pointed out that India hasn’t played any day-night games to cater to prime-time viewing in India, which he views as unfair to other teams.

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“We’re just manipulating the tournament for the benefit of a few. The TV audience in India would watch cricket anytime, it’s like a religion there. It must be of such commercial value that it overrides the competition itself,” said Lloyd.

The ongoing debate around this issue highlights a broader concern about the commercialization of cricket. While the India-Pakistan match is a guaranteed blockbuster in terms of viewership, the ICC’s attempts to capitalize on this can sometimes overshadow the sport’s true spirit.

Fans yearn for the days when such high-stakes encounters happened organically, adding an element of surprise and pure excitement. The ICC and organizers must strive to preserve this essence, ensuring that the magic of events like the India-Pakistan rivalry remains intact for generations to come.

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