Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Something not right about the ICC World Twenty20 Groups

The organizers, schedulers, administracrats, or whatever you like to call the ICC, keep talking about how they want to improve the game, how they want to attract more fans to it, how they want to take it to a wider global market...

Yet when it comes to their branded tournaments, they somehow throw all the logic, and their plans for the game, out the window.

We saw it in the 2007 World Cup when one bad game saw India and Pakistan crash out of the competition. A competition that is supposed to be the ICC marquee event.

The ICC World Twenty20 kicks off in 10 days with amazingly lop-sided looking groups.

I know the seedings are at work, but surely the ICC could have been more logical about them.

Am I the only one who sees something wrong with a group stage, which ensures that 1 of Bangladesh and Ireland will qualify for the Super 8s; and 1 of Australia, West Indies, and Sri Lanla will not?

Amy has already written about the farce that the Super 8 stage is that groups teams based on pre-determined seedings.

What that means is that it doesn't matter who tops the pool in the group stages.

I think the points will be carried forward, but what it does is that it creates the possibility of grouping all the 4 pool toppers together in the Super 8s.


The ICC does that to allow fans to buy the tickets for the matches, which would involve the teams they support.

Sure it helps the fans who are travelling from other parts of the world to catch the action.

But is that fair, particularly if it means compromising the Super 8 stage?

I don't see it happening in any other sport.

Then why in cricket?

Isn't it just logical to group A1, B2, C1, D2 in 1 group and A2, B1, C2, D1 in another?

Make your pitch on this post...

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10 Pitched:

  1. Rayden said...

    Q - I am sorry to say but you need to improve your English. I was taught long back that you cannot use the words "ICC" and "logical" in the same sentence or even the same article.

  2. SledgeHammer said...

    OK, let's stop here for a second. Before I go into the T20 groups, I want to make some points about WC 2007.

    First off, I was personally burned by Pak and India's exit. I had to re-arrange my "follow Pakistan" plans and then go for other matches, including the thrilling Bangladesh vs Ireland game. But I did get to see WI vs Eng (great one), and the final (farce, but I attended a WC final).

    Even with this in mind, I find it strange that people criticize the WC 2007 format. It wasn't one bad game. Pak and India lost 2 games each.

    Pak lost to Ireland and WI. India lost to Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

    And had it not been for a miraculous tie between Zim and Ireland, Pak would have probably gone through on NRR.

    So the teams had their chances, and the played miserably. They deserved to exit.

    Now, I know these were massive nails in WC 2007's coffin, but I think it was an excellent format.

    In theory you would have the 8 best teams slug it out against each other - what more does anyone want. If Pak and India can't beat associate nations and a not-really-a-Test-team Test team, well then they deserve to go out. Or, up your game against an equal/lesser rival. Surely Pak was better than WI, and India and SL were soemwhat equal.

    In 2011 we're back to more meaningless games, and a pathetic QF format.

    The best format ever was WC 92 - every team played each other. So WC 2007 was a good attempt to go back to that.

    Enough whining by Pak/India fans. I myself was about to break the TV seeing Pak get destroyed by Ireland. I planned for two years to go, and it was becoming a total waste. But for once I didn't blame ICC - it was the teams/players that failed themselves and their fans. Now, there's a lot else to blame ICC for in WC 07 and so many other things, but not the format.

    However, I still enjoyed my trip because the Caribbean simply rocks!!!

    OK, rant done, now I will read the rest of the post.

  3. SledgeHammer said...

    BTW, one more thing to add. I think ICC should limit the WC to 8 or 10 teams, using pre-qualifying tournaments. But given that it won't do that, I think the WC 07 format was great.

  4. Aashrey said...

    Lol. You're actually considering England topping a group.

    Anyway, these seedings are based on the 07 T20 world cup, and Bangladesh did well.

  5. SledgeHammer said...

    OK, going through this post, it felt familiar. And then I realized I had written about this almost a year ago.

    Read it here.

    For those of you too lazy to click on the link, here's an excerpt:

    "...just like the ODI WC 2007 (and I believe the previous T20 WC as well), teams are assigned a "seeding" which they carry with them into the (poorly termed) "Super-8s".


    Logistically, this is pretty good. Competitively, this is not a really great idea. Unlike in the ODI WC 2007, all Super-8 teams will not end up playing each other. So it could be that one Super-8 pool is composed of all second place teams from the group stage, and the other is composed of all first place teams.

    If all teams played each other, I'm all for this seeding/assignment policy. If not (which is the case in the T20 WC), it should be based on standings.

    As for the pre-determined seedings, I don't really have a problem with that since they used the 2007 results. And that was the only T20 tournament they could use. Plus, T20s are fairly uncommon so it's hard to come up with current rankings. Finally, it would be unfair to base a T20 seeding/ranking based on ODI/Test performance.

  6. raj said...

    Now that we are making a lot of noise about it, I feel destiny's going to spring a surprise on us and help ICC by ordering the groups in exactly the same manner as the draw is. (i.e) the preliminary group results are going to be in such a way that each group in the next stage has 2 toppers and 2 runners-up despite the pre-fixing of the countries which fall in Group A and B:-)

  7. Q said...

    Rayden: my bad! :-)

  8. Q said...

    Aashrey: I know unlikely but who knows, maybe England does top a group .. I know the seedings are based on that, but some sense should prevail, shouldn't it.

  9. Q said...

    Sledge: point taken regarding the 07 world cup.

    But to me the Super Sixes made more sense than the Super 8s, because it gave the teams more match in round 1, unlike 07 which gave the teams only 3 matches on round 1.

    I agree with you opinion about the WC being restricted to 8-10 teams.. it will do a lot of good to the competition.

    Regarding the 20-20: I totally forgot the post you had done.. I should have linked it to the main one - at least we agree on this point.

  10. Q said...

    Raj: if that does happen, I'll hire u as my bookie ;-)

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