Union minister Ramdas Athawale on Saturday said the ICC Champions Trophy final between India and Pakistan appeared “fixed” and demanded a probe into the matter.
The Union minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment also batted for 25 percent reservation for Dalits and tribals in cricket and other games, saying these sections have never got due recognition in sports.
“How could the cricketers, who played so well in the entire tournament, did not perform in the final match (in London on 18 June)?” the RPI(A) leader asked reporters at Ravi Bhavan in Nagpur.
Pakistan hammered India by 180 runs in the final to lift their maiden Champions Trophy title.
“Those who did not perform should be rested and eligible cricketers from the Dalit community should be given a chance in the team,” he said.
“It appears that the match was fixed and we demand an inquiry into it,” added Athawale.
India were strong favourites going into the ninth edition of the ‘Mini World Cup’, riding on a successful home season under the leadership of Virat Kohli. The team started their campaign with a resounding 124-run win over eventual champions Pakistan, although they were caught napping by Sri Lanka, against whom they suffered a seven-wicket loss.
India then thrashed South Africa and Bangladesh, the latter in the semi-final, by eight and nine wickets respectively to march into the final, before a brilliant Fakhar Zaman (114 off 106 balls) and Mohammad Amir (3/16) stole the show for Pakistan. The win turned out to be Pakistan’s first against India in an ICC event since 2009.