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India-Pakistan league match in Asia Cup 2022 becomes most watched T20I ever outside of World Cups

Mumbai, Sep 8 (IANS) The high-octane marquee clash between India and Pakistan on August 28 in Group A of Asia Cup 2022 has become the most watched T20I ever, outside of World Cups.

The viewership numbers further said that 176 million viewers tuned in to watch the first six games of Asia Cup 2022 in the UAE.

As per the BARC data combining the urban and rural numbers seen from Star Sports and DD Sports broadcast in the country, the India-Pakistan league match in Asia Cup 2022 recorded a cumulative reach of 133 million and registered 13.6 billion minutes, registering a growth of almost 30 per cent compared to the match between these two teams in Asia Cup 2016.

In Sunday’s marquee clash against Pakistan in Group A of Asia Cup 2022, dubbed as the greatest rivalry in world cricket, Hardik Pandya’s all-round skills were the driving force behind India sealing a five-wicket win in an engrossing match.

With the ball, Pandya used his short ball to good effect and got extra bounce as well on a two-paced pitch to break Pakistan’s innings mid-way with his spell of 3-25. Then, after Pakistan were bowled out for 147, India were in a scenario where 59 runs were needed off the last six overs.

From there, Pandya (33 not out off 17 balls) and Ravindra Jadeja (35 off 29 balls) shared a stand of 52 runs off just 29 balls. Even though the left-handed Jadeja fell in the final over, Pandya finished off things with a six over long-on off left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz to take India over the line and add another thrilling chapter in the history of India-Pakistan clashes.

“The record-breaking viewership for Asia Cup 2022 demonstrates Cricket’s unparalleled power to aggregate fans across platforms, enhanced by Disney Star’s focus on audience expansion. We were focused on elevating the stature of Asia Cup as a marquee tournament and expanding the appeal of Ind vs Pak as the unmissable ‘Greatest Rivalry’.”

“Our high decibel marketing campaign combined with focus on lead-up programming and regional coverage has resulted in the Ind vs Pak league match becoming the highest rated T20I ever (outside of World Cup matches). This is an ideal start to the festival of Cricket which entails bilateral series vs Australia & South Africa and is followed by the ICC T20 World Cup,” said Sanjog Gupta, Head – Sports, Disney Star.

With India unable to make the Asia Cup 2022 final after Pakistan got a breath-taking one-wicket win over Afghanistan on Wednesday, Thursday’s match against Afghanistan in Dubai will be their final match of the tournament.

India’s next home series will be against reigning Men’s T20 World Cup champions Australia in a three-match series, starting from September 20 in Mohali.

–IANS

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