Reports: ICC mulling over staging India-Pakistan warm-up fixture ahead of the 2020 T20 World Cup

Reports: ICC mulling over staging India-Pakistan warm-up fixture ahead of the 2020 T20 World Cup

Both the countries face-off only in the ICC events.

India vs Pakistan
India vs Pakistan. (Photo Source: Twitter)

India-Pakistan relations are at an all-time low, is not an aberration. Ever since the dastardly 26/11 attacks in Mumbai back in 2008, the bilateral ties between the two nations have been on a backburner. Only one bilateral series has been played out during this period. That was when Misbah-ul-Haq-led unit toured India in 2012-13 season for three ODIs and two T20Is.

With no bilateral cricket possible, the teams have been locking horns in only ICC tournaments since 2008. They have competed thrice in the 50-over World Cup (2011, 2015 and 2019) while the Champions Trophy has seen the arch-rivals meeting four times (2009, 2013, twice in 2017). In the shortest format of the game, the two sides have met on five occasions (twice in 2007, 2012, 2014, 2016).

However, following the Pulwama attack and the subsequent Indian retaliation in Balakot earlier this year, tensions escalated. There were growing calls for India to not play their league-stage match against Pakistan in the World Cup. In the recent past, the ICC has admitted to pipping the arch-rivals deliberately in one group to ensure the staging of the blockbuster encounter. 

An Indo-Pak warm-up encounter before ICC T20 World Cup

India and Pakistan not in the same group of an ICC event since 2012. According to a report published in the Times of India, the ICC is now flirting with the idea of staging a warm-up game between the two nations to create excitement leading into the 2020 T20 World Cup.

“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,” sources told the leading daily.

The ICC is yet to get in touch with the BCCI. However, as things stand it seems extremely unlikely that the board will entertain such ideas. Interestingly, this is not the first time that ICC has thought of this idea. Back in 2009, India and Pakistan actually played in a warm-fixture of the Twenty20 World Cup in England; a game that the Men in Blue won easily.

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