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Monday, July 12, 2010


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The 16 team, four-group format was there last time but they decided against it because they can't risk any of the big teams bowing out after just 3 games. The other problem is ODIs last 8 hours as opposed to football matches that last 2 hours so the boredom is magnified if you have a bad game of 50-over cricket.

The Reverse Sweep

I am sure you agree Mahek, but why should the big teams be protected? If a big side loses to Bangladesh or one of the minnows, they don't deserve to make the QF. If they don't shrink the WC soon it will lose all prestige. Six weeks is too long for a WC.


Pretty harsh on Kenya, given they beat Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka to make the semi-finals.

The theory behind the super-6/8 was sound: mismatches are a bit uninteresting, so the tournament proper should be bulked up with lots of (competitive) games between the top-8, and a short-ish first round. Unfortunately upsets meant it didn't work out like that. That and it made the WC so long. But how anyone thought a 14 team World Cup would be better than what we had is beyond me?

I'd add another thing we could learn from the football world cup: qualifying. It is, I think, better to have a smaller world cup (few minnows) and give them exposure to test teams via a regional qualifying tournament, than a bloated world cup. (3 regions - North, South, Asia - with 8 team tournaments would be best) The indications are that is where cricket is going.

16 is optimum mostly because multiples of 2 and 4 make for the best group sizes, but it isn't without problems. There is a sense, upsets notwithstanding that the top-8 teams coast through to the quarters (and the one competitive game they play doesn't matter); and that the q/s/finals (the meaningful games) finish too quickly (just 7 games).

A second round with 2 groups of 4 (leading to semi-finals) - the format used in the T20 WC - would add competitive games (an extra 8) without making the World Cup too long. The football WC used to have a second round of groups that was popular.

Similarly, you could make the first group game competitive and make it a little less likely that you'll lose the big teams by giving the 1st placed team immediate entry into the second round, and have a 2nd/3rd play-off round for the other 4 entries. (which adds another 4 games).

I'd like to see both (it works out to 43 games in 35 days), with a view to, in maybe 8-12 years having a 24 team competition.

The Reverse Sweep

Some good ideas Russ. And maybe I was a bit harsh on Kenya, but to get to the SF on the back of beating Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe countered the argument for the Super 6/8. I like your idea of a second round of two groups of four, but only after a first round of four groups of four not seven as will be the case next year!

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