Sunday, February 13, 2011

Road to the WorldCup (Part 1)

The Schedule & Format

This World Cup has been subject to widespread criticism from the cricketing circles due to its length. It spans for 45 days with only groups, quarters, semis, and the final (no super Stages). But then again periods of respite are good for the players as they can overcome their niggles and set along afresh for the next match(es).

I personally believe that the World Cup has to have a pre-tournament knockout round for the minnows, the best should survive as spectators find nothing interesting in one sided matches featuring the lesser, uncompetitive teams. A fact to mention here is that each group has a healthy dose of the minnows; three in each - this unnecessarily lengthens the tournament and does nothing else.

ICC has returned to its 2003 WC policy of two big groups with four qualifiers from each. it is good because barring any hiccups, the top teams are almost guaranteed progression to the next stage.

Groups seem pretty even when you first look at them but it is not the case when you peer into the depths. Group A is by far the more easier because the top four teams in this group are number 1 (Australia), 3 (Sri Lanka), 6 (Pakistan) and 7 (New Zealand) on the ICC ODI Ratings. While in Group B the top four teams are number 2 (India), 4 (South Africa), 5 (England) and 8 (Bangladesh), add to it a topping of number 9 (West Indies) who are not minnows in any sort of way and number 10 (Ireland) who have shown in the 2007 WC what they are capable of. So you can see that it is difficult tor predict the fourth qualifier from Group B, it can be Bangladesh, West Indies or even Ireland! But in the case of Group A, negating any upsets, the front-runners are clear.

Now lets have a peek at the schedule for the World Cup 2011...


As you see, each team will play six matches in the initial, group stages. The top four teams from each group will advance to the quarters - playing for the the two semifinal berths. The two teams standing victorious in the semifinal clashes will march on into the Final at the Eden Gardens on April 2nd.
The above images are screen-shots from Cricinfo's website and are their property. I just edited them.

No comments:

Post a Comment