The International Cricket Council (ICC) is reportedly planning for an India vs Pakistan warm-up clash before the commencement of the 2020 ICC T20 World Cup. India and Pakistan, who were usually placed in the same group in ICC tournaments, are placed in different groups this time around. The India vs Pakistan match at the 2019 Cricket World Cup was the most-watched ICC event ever with a reported average global audience of 1.6 billion. The ICC would want to ensure that the two countries play each other in the T20 World Cup, at least once.
It was revealed that the ICC was planning for the India vs Pakistan event before the T20 World Cup kicked off on October 18, 2020. Multiple reports state that the ICC wants to 'create excitement' before the T20 World Cup. The match could be a way for the ICC to ensure that they garner the TV ratings that they usually do when the two countries play each other. The two teams, which are usually placed in the same group, are not guaranteed to play each other in the next World Cup if they do not top the tables of their respective groups.
“Wonder who comes up with these brilliant ideas there? First, they went and brought out the schedule of the 2020 World T20 for almost two years in advance. And now, they want a warm-up game to create excitement,” a BCCI source told a leading news daily.
India and Pakistan's cricket rivalry is often fuelled by the countries' socio-political differences and the matches are a stage for not only cricket but also nationalistic sentiments. Every India vs Pakistan match is heavily hyped and the ICC understands the power this fixture holds in widening the audience an ICC tournament can reach.