23 Oct 2022

Cricket: ICC T-20 World Cup: Do you Know Why India, Pakistan Are placed In Same Group

Melbourne: India and Pakistan clash in their opening match in the ICC T-20 World Cup Tournament. But do you know why traditional rivals India and Pakistan are placed in the same group. This is because one-third of the total viewership of the tournament comes from Indo-Pak matches alone.

India-Pakistan matches in ICC tournaments have been taking place since 1992. Since then, the two teams have faced each other 13 times, including the ODI and T20 World Cups. 

The last bilateral series between India and Pakistan took place in 2012. Then the Pakistani team came to India to play a series of three ODIs. Since then, the bilateral series between the two countries was stopped due to deteriorating political relations. Now the match between the two was possible only in the ICC tournament.

India Vs Pakistan World Cup Match Popularity: In any World Cup, an India-Pakistan match in the group stage gives the tournament momentum before the knockout rounds. The India-Pakistan match in the semi-finals of 2011 was watched by 495 million people. But, it was a knockout match. ICC tries to get big numbers in league matches too.

Broadcasters create pressure on ICC: ICC has sold media rights from 2024 to 2027 for $ 3 billion, i.e. about 24 thousand crores. The last time these rights were sold for $1.44 billion. After paying such a huge price, broadcasters do not rely on Indo-Pak matches in ICC only in the knockout rounds. That's why they insist on keeping India-Pakistan in the same group to ensure a clash between the two in the group stage. ICC has been fulfilling this demand of broadcasters since 2015.

The question that may arise is what benefit broadcasters get from this. The answer is that broadcasters auction ad slots for each match. That is, during the match, how much money will be received from the ad for every 10 seconds, it is decided by the auction. The cost of ad slots for India-Pakistan matches is three to four times higher than other matches. 

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