Tournament purely set up for India, ICC should be a little fairer: Vaughan

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Tournament purely set up for India, ICC should be a little fairer: Vaughan

Thursday, 27 June 2024 | PTI | London

Tournament purely set up for India, ICC should be a little fairer: Vaughan

Former England captain Michael Vaughan feels the ongoing T20 World Cup is "purely set up for India" and global body ICC should have been a bit more "fairer" to other countries as this is not a bilateral event organised solely for commercial gains.

Vaughan, 49, has often criticised the BCCI and India for flexing their muscle and financial might in international cricket.

"Well, it's their tournament isn't it? Literally it's that. You know that. They get to play whenever they want, they know exactly where their semi-final is, they play every single game in the morning so people can watch them at night, obviously in India on the television," Vaughan said during a podcast with Australian great Adam Gilchrist on the YouTube channel Club Prairie Fire.

Vaughan's grouse is that India got to play all their matches in morning because it suits the Indian audience, who watched the matches in the evening. He lashed out at the ICC for bowing down to India's financial might.

"I get that money is a big play in the world of cricket, and I get that in bilateral series but you would think that when you get to a World Cup, the ICC should be a little bit fairer to everybody," said the man, who scored 18 hundreds in 82 Tests and was the English skipper of the historic Ashes-winning side of 2005.

"When you get to a World Cup, there can't be sympathy or any kind of sway towards one team in this tournament, and this tournament is purely set up for India. As simple as that," Vaughan alleged.

He made no bones of the fact that a team of India's calibre doesn't need any kind of favours to win games of cricket. India didn't play a single night game and were the only team with a permanent classification (A1) and fixed semi-final venue (Guyana).

"Indian supporters believe that on paper, probably they have got the best team, so they don't need to do anything. They can win a night match, they don't need to play in Guyana in a semi-final, which, by the way, rains 24 days out of 30 in June, so they have already had six days of dryness, so it's going to rain," Vaughan said, questioning the choice of venue.

He also asked why there's no reserve day for a tournament of this magnitude.

"Why (no reserve day)? I had been reading about rules and regulations of the tournament and it actually states about India. There are comments about the Indian team in a rule book, which, well, I guess I get it in a bilateral, but not in World Cup."

Gilchrist agreed with Vaughan that a lot of Indian fans think that scheduling indeed has been "compromised".

"There are some very, very passionate cricket supporters who are well aware of that and they are in agreement, it (scheduling) has been compromised it to an extent," the flamboyant keeper-batter stated.

"Look, let's say it again that India has been the best team, most consistent team throughout, may be South Africa too without losing a game but India should win it and good on them if they do it.

"But you are right, there aren't too many Indian supporters who are naive and blind to that situation," Gilchrist said.

To contextualize Vaughan and Gilchrist's allegations, it must be mentioned that pre-seedings, or pre-allocated venues has been an age-old ICC convention which, during a certain period, helped countries like Australia, England and New Zealand who had a bigger say in ICC matters then. Even the West Indies board, whose bosses toed the ECB line.

For example, in 1992, it was pre-decided that both Australia and New Zealand, the two co-hosts, would play their semi-finals at home in Sydney and Auckland unless they are pitted against each other.

In 1996, Pakistan were promised a home quarter-final unless they played against India (eventually it happened in Bengaluru).

In 2011, co-hosts India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh were promised home knock-out games.

So it's clear that all teams have had pre-decided seedings in T20 World Cups over the years.

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