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'Fixtures fixed': Ex-cricketer David Lloyd questions ICC over India vs Pakistan showdown in every World Cup

David Lloyd urges the ICC to stop pre-scheduling India-Pakistan matches in major tournaments, arguing it compromises the sport's integrity. He also criticizes the 2024 T20 World Cup's tight scheduling and inconsistent semi-final rules, highlighting unfair advantages and commercial manipulation.

'Fixtures fixed': Ex-cricketer David Lloyd questions ICC over India vs Pakistan showdown in every World Cup vkp
First Published Jun 26, 2024, 3:13 PM IST

Former English cricketer and commentator David Lloyd has called on the International Cricket Council (ICC) to stop pre-scheduling matches between India and Pakistan in major tournaments. Lloyd argues that these fixtures, which have been a constant in every ICC event since 2013, compromise the sport’s integrity.

Speaking on TalkSPORT amid discussions about the ongoing 2024 T20 World Cup, Lloyd described the practice as "fixing fixtures." He believes it manipulates the game's outcomes for commercial gain, impacting the fairness and quality of the competition.

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Lloyd was firm in his stance when asked if removing pre-scheduled India-Pakistan matches would be a loss. "Not in the slightest," he replied. "We talk long and hard about fixing in cricket. That's fixed. It's just fixed for a major event. The game itself is an event. You can't fix it. And that's only part of what we fix. We fix loads of stuff. In this particular World Cup, you're just trying to manipulate. It's just wrong."

The ex-cricketer also criticized the 2024 T20 World Cup's scheduling, particularly the lack of rest days for teams during the Super 8s stage. He noted that the tight schedule has adversely affected teams' performance and preparation time.

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Lloyd highlighted another issue: the inconsistency in semi-final rules. He pointed out that the India vs. England semi-final had no reserve day, while the South Africa vs. Afghanistan match did.

"It just isn't fair to the teams," Lloyd noted. "We're just manipulating the tournament for the benefit of a few. If you look at the TV audience in India, they would watch anything there and anytime. It is a religion. It is the be-all and end-all. They would watch it and so it must have some commercial value that overrides the competition itself."

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