The much-anticipated India vs Pakistan clash in the 2021 T20 World Cup is all set to be played in Dubai on Sunday, October 24.

The much-anticipated India vs Pakistan clash in the 2021 T20 World Cup is all set to be played in Dubai on Sunday, October 24. An India vs Pakistan contest is often the most-watched encounter during a World Cup, be it a T20 edition or the 50-over edition. In the past few days though there has been a growing clamour for the cancellation of the India vs Pakistan match among members of different political parties in India. According to some politicians, India should not play with Pakistan in the wake of some recent killings in Jammu & Kashmir. However, there is no chance of the mega clash being cancelled. Here’s why.

  1. Strict ICC Rules

The T20 World Cup is organized by the International Cricket Council (ICC). The rules of the ICC tournament clearly state that no team can refuse to play against another. As such, India cannot dare to not play Pakistan. The Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) Vice-President, Rajiv Shukla, also confirmed the same. Issuing a statement, he made it clear, “We strongly condemn the killings (J&K). Strict action should be taken against terror organisations. As far as the match (T20 WC IND vs PAK) is concerned, under ICC’s international commitments you can’t refuse to play against anyone. You’ve to play in ICC tournaments.”

2. Forfeiting points

If India does take the extreme step and refuse to play Pakistan, they will have to face severe ICC sanctions. That’s not all. They will even have to forfeit their points for the game, which will be a massive loss in a big tournament like the T20 World Cup. This could hurt India in a big way as the business end of the tournament approaches. It would also end their dominance over Pakistan in the World Cup, be it 50 overs or the T20 format. Starting with the 1992 World Cup, India have never conceded points to Pakistan via a loss. Every time the teams have met in the World Cup, irrespective of the format, India have won.

3. Every match matters

In a World Cup game every match matters. Speaking about the T20 World Cup, India are placed in Group 2 of the Super 12 Round. Apart from Pakistan, they will face New Zealand and Afghanistan other than two qualifiers. The Kiwis have been India’s nemesis for a long time in ICC events. They beat India to clinch the Champions Trophy in 2000. In fact, India haven’t beaten New Zealand in an ICC event since the 2003 World Cup. India went down to the Kiwis in the WTC final as well. So if India forfeit the Pakistan game and lose to New Zealand, their qualification for the semi-finals will be in massive jeopardy.

Afghanistan are not expected to be pushovers in the T20 World Cup. They gave India a tough fight in the 50-over World Cup in 2019. Still, India will be expected to get the better of Afghanistan and the two qualifiers from Round 1. But then so will Pakistan and New Zealand. Thus, in case of India forfeiting the Pakistan clash, they could be hugely handicapped.

4. What if India face Pakistan in the final?

This is a scenario worth pondering upon. In case both India and Pakistan qualify for the semi-finals from their group and both teams win their semi-final clash, the Asian nations will again come face-to-face in the final. Assuming, India forfeited the league match, they will have to give up playing the final as well. They certainly cannot afford to do so. It can’t be a case where India refuse to play Pakistan in the league stage and then agrees to play in the final. Considering all scenarios, it can be safely concluded that the India-Pakistan match on October 24 in Dubai would go ahead as per schedule.

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