"India were promised or delivered a scenario where..." - Mark Butcher slams ICC for pre-tournament Super 8s seeding

Published - 19 Jun 2024, 10:36 PM | Updated - 19 Jun 2024, 10:40 PM

Mark Butcher, India
Mark Butcher, India (Credits: X)

Former England cricketer Mark Butcher has slammed the ICC for the pre-decided Super 8s seeding in the ongoing ICC T20 World Cup 2024.

A total of 20 teams participated in the ongoing ninth edition of the T20 World Cup. Of the 20 teams, eight teams have progressed to the Super 8s. The eight teams have been further divided into two groups for Super 8s. India, Australia, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh are in Group 1 while West Indies, South Africa, England, and USA are in Group 2.

The teams were seeded by the ICC even before the tournament. As a result, the teams did not get any advantage after finishing at the top of the points table in the group stage. The likes of Australia and India have found themselves in the same group despite topping their respective groups. Australia were seeded B2 even though they finished at the top after winning all of their four group games.

Mark Butcher slams ICC for pre-tournament Super 8s seeding

Several former as well as present cricketers including Australia star Mitchell Starc have expressed their disappointment over the pre-decided Super Eight seeding and schedule of the tournament. And now Mark Butcher has expressed his disapproval of the rule too.

The former England cricketer took a dig at ICC and indirectly accused them of favoring India. He also expressed his shock over India being already aware of their venue for the semifinal even before qualifying for it. It does not matter where India finish in the Super 8s, if they manage to qualify for the semifinals, the match will take place in Guyana.

"That whole thing from start to finish, from the idea of where you finish first or second in the group stage didn't matter where you ended up in Super Eights. And then one team knows which group it is going to be in the Super Eights and where its semifinal will be, meaning that the other team finishing second also knows where its semifinal will be is extraordinary," said Butcher while speaking on Wisden Cricket Weekly Podcast.

"How do you organise a competition around the fact that one team knows exactly, should everything go to plan, that it will be playing their semifinal on a particular day and at a particular venue, when everybody in the opposite group has no idea? And that is what it should be.

"You shouldn't have any clue. The group thing was pre-ordained simply because there was no seeding between finishing first or second in your group stage and that is wrong. I found that astonishing, and we all know why that is the case.

"It is because for the TV audiences, as far as India are concerned, pay the bills and therefore were kind of promised or delivered a scenario where they would exactly know where they would play their semifinal should they reach it. I find that incredible.

"You won't [hear anything from the broadcasters] because they're working for the ICC and the ICC won't allow any form of dissent from the people that it asked to come and work for it so you don't hear any criticism of anything. It's not allowed, banned," he added.

Meanwhile, the top two teams from each group will advance to the semifinals. 

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Mark Butcher India National Cricket Team ICC T20 World Cup