The much-anticipated T20 World Cup 2021 match between archrivals Pakistan and India on October 24 was the most-watched T20I match to date, with 167 million views, according to the official broadcaster in a statement released on Monday.
“The highly anticipated Pakistan-India clash on 24 October, an event that saw the archrivals meet at an ICC tournament after two years, is now the most viewed T20I match,” Star India said in a press release.
The high-octane match surpassed the previously most-watched game between India and the West Indies, which drew 136 million viewers.
The qualifiers and the first 12 games of the Super 12 stage of the T20 World Cup received a total audience of 238 million viewers, according to the broadcaster.
“We have consistently worked to expand the audience base for marquee cricket, and this record reflects our efforts across high-decibel campaigns, enhanced storytelling, dedicated regional programming, and consumer innovations.”
Both India and Pakistan began their World Cup campaigns on October 24 in Dubai, with Pakistan winning by a resounding 10-wicket margin.
Pakistan then won the next four games to become the only team to qualify for the semifinals with an unbeaten record in group play. India was eliminated from the tournament after the first round due to a humiliating defeat.
“There’s no doubt that the outcome of the match and India’s exit from the tournament disappointed fans, but the record viewership demonstrates cricket’s unique ability to engage audiences on an unprecedented scale,” the Indian channel said in a statement.