The escalating tensions between neighbouring countries India and Pakistan have taken a new twist with Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Anurag Thakur set to request the ICC to not club India and Pakistan in the same group at the 2017 Champions Trophy so as to avoid the two teams from facing each other.
Despite not playing bilateral events, the arch-rivals have played each other a number of times in ICC events with the most recent coming at the 2016 ICC T20 World Cup. However, given the recent deteriorating political relations between the two countries, the BCCI has decided that it will avoid playing Pakistan even in multi-nation tournaments.
This issue was discussed on the sidelines of the Special General Meeting amid the backdrop of the Uri terror attack and the surgical strikes carried out by the Indian army.
"I will be suggesting to the ICC that looking at the current situation between both countries it is not advisable to have India and Pakistan in one group of Champions Trophy as there could be a situation like we had in India during India vs Pakistan T20 World game in Dharamshala where we had to shift the game at the last moment", Thakur said, as quoted by Indian Express.
"There could be security issues. So in order the organizers don't face problems which we did during T20 World Cup, I will be suggesting to the ICC in our next meeting in October in South Africa that it will be better if we don't have two teams in the same group", the BCCI president added.
Considering the high interest and monetary value of India-Pakistan clashes, the ICC tends to put the two teams in the same group in multi-nation tournaments to attract more spectators and sponsors. India and Pakistan are currently drawn in Group B for the Champions Trophy 2017 and are scheduled to face-off at Edgbaston on 4 June.