Thursday, October 8, 2009

Groups for 2011 World Cup

The groups for the 2011 World Cup have been decided. While the format has not been formally disclosed by the ICC, they have indicated that it will be a quarter-final format i.e. top 4 in each group play in the QFs. The tournament is going to be shortened to 49 matches (from 51) and to around 5 weeks (from 6 weeks).

I personally am not a fan of the QF format, but what the hell can I do about it. I think the Champions Trophy is a better deal than the World Cup. My own ideal format for the World Cup is as follows: have 14 teams, of which 4 teams get byes into a Super-8 round (previous champs, most recent CT champs, most recent T20 champs, #1 ODI team, etc). The 10 remaining teams are divided into two groups of 5 each, and play each other. Top two in each group join the other 4 in the Super-8. In the Super-8, everyone plays each other and top 4 go to the semis. It will be 51 matches (same as 2007), but with at least two matches a day, it can comfortably be completed in 5 weeks or less.

Anyways, I'm not the ICC chief so I can't decide the format. So, without further ado, I present the 2011 World Cup groups:

Group A - Australia, Pakistan, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, Canada, Kenya.

Group B - India, South Africa, England, West Indies, Bangladesh, Ireland, Netherlands.

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17 Pitched:

  1. Golandaaz said...

    I like the QF strategy. The thing I do not like about your format is that for the first few weeks, the best 4 ODI teams will not play even a single match.

    WC is all about knock outs. I like the soccer format. 4 teams in each group. top 2 advance to the knockout stage. there are only a handful of meaningless group matches and then the competition moves to a high stakes knockout. It brings out the best in teams.

    The longer the format, the more the likelihood traditionally strong teams to win. It gives them time to recoup.

    Then there is no point in having the WC. Australia won the last 3 WCs and have faced only 2 KO matches per WC.

  2. SledgeHammer said...

    @Golandaaz: Thanks for your comments. Agreed that the top 4 teams wouldn't play initially, but in terms of matches that's just 20 matches, less than 2 weeks.

    In fact, making the assumption that the top 8 go into the next round in either format (which is the ICC's paradoxical goal), only 18 matches would involve at least one of the bottom 8 teams. The remaining 33 matches would involve the top 8 exclusively.

    In the current format, as many as 30 matches will involve at least one of the bottom 8 teams, and just 19 will involve the top 8 exclusively.

    I would rather see the former any day. The 1992 WC is still the best format, and my format gets us as close to it as possible.

    But, alas, I'm not the head of the ICC. So my fantasies remain confined to my head and a blog! :)

  3. Leg Break said...

    So these are the first Quarter finals since 1996?

    All 4 matches in that tournament were crackers.

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  5. SledgeHammer said...

    @Leg Break: Yes, this is the first time QFs will be used since 1996.

    You are right, all the matches were quite good. Pak-India of course, then Aus-NZ and SA-WI were pretty good too. SL vs Eng was ok.

    The semis were great, and the final was pretty decent.

    So based on that, yes, there might be some hope for a good tournament.

  6. Abdullah said...

    Pakistan’s tour of Australia is forthcoming and I am concerned about the ongoing crisis of the opening slot. The wickets and conditions down under will be much challenging as opposed to the flat pancake turfs our openers get fed on in the domestic circuit. I feel we need to use Imran Farhat and Yasir Hameed in test matches. The Qaida Azam trophy shall be influential in the selection committee’s planning but that simply as matter of fact doesn’t give an overview of one’s ability and how they would encounter the indifferent Australian conditions.

    In regards to the flamboyance of Imran Nazir he should be kept in the reckoning for ODI’S and T20 format. It’s only a matter of time before he will be able to show us why he deserves a place in limited over cricket. His free scoring dominant style may pull of when we need it as he has continuously demonstrated in the domestic and T20 arena. Perhaps even only a T20 specialist but in that case he should be given the licence to counter attack which is what he does best.

  7. Anonymous said...

    As published McGrath will Still remain a Question Mark on our Cricket Future. Although his career is remarkable, he has been scheduled to the sidelines has been nothing short of ignominy to team strategy and to loss of the cricket world was brought to bear on the night that the Delhi Ddevils beat Wayamba in the Champions League Twenty20 in India.

  8. Leg Break said...

    Hey guys.

    Who’s this Jamshed Khan Dasti bloke? Seems like a right knob to me.

  9. SledgeHammer said...

    @Leg Break: He's someone who obviously thinks that violence, massive inflation, and food shortages are not as important as baseless allegations of match fixing.

    He needs a nice, fat smack in the head.

  10. neil paste said...

    tough groupa as nz and aus face of

  11. Thiru Cumaran said...

    What I'd prefer is 16 teams divided into 4 groups. The best 2 from each team go into a knockout. Similar to the Soccer world cup, but, since there are only 16 teams totally, u can't have a 'round of 16'.

    After the group stages, some quaterfinals, the semis and then the grand final! Just for the sake of revenue - maximisation, there cud be a 'losers final'! :)

  12. Rodney Judd said...

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    1/ Go to the link and Comment
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  13. Fayez said...

    There should be just 8 teams in the world cup. The bottom two of this WC should play in the minnow's WC and the top two of the minnow's WC should qualify for the next senior WC.

  14. Leg Break said...

    All right then boys; fancy your chances in the test series?

    BTW, 12 degrees in Wellington yesterday.

  15. Rayden said...

    Hey Q, Sledge - Why no posts since so long? Where are you guys?

  16. Talha Ahmed said...

    I am not a fan of the quarter finals myself.

    Infact I dont have any objections with the previous format ... Pakistan and India played poorly to lose against Ireland and Bangladesh. France was kicked out of the football worldcup when they lost to Senegal. It gives some meaning to the group matches ... and it should not be scrapped just because India wants to cry to save embarrasment.

    I dont like your format either... none of the teams, no matter, how good they might have been in recent times should get a free ticket to the super 8s!

  17. SledgeHammer said...

    @Talha: thanks for your comment. I agree - the 2007 format was pretty good, I would prefer that over QF. It really is Pak and India's fault that they did not qualify.

    I've used the France 2002 example myself many times. The difference is this - soccer/football can continue to be extremely successful even if a couple of its top teams go out. So even if Brazil and France are kicked out early, the World Cup will be as exciting and almost as followed as it would be with them.

    Cricket proved that without its top guns, it can't be too successful. This is evident from the fact that so much attention was lost when India and Pakistan were kicked out, and that the ICC reacted by redoing the format to make it harder for small teams to go through, rather than encouraging them to break new ground.

    This change of format completely exposed the ICC's hypocrisy - on the one hand you add all these smaller teams to spread the game so that they can participate. But on the other hand, you want to ensure that they don't do well because they don't command a loyal and passionate following.

    Knowing the reality of cricket following, and the hypocrisy of the ICC, I think it's inevitable that big teams have a good chance to make it through.

    The World Cup really should be the 8 or 10 best teams duking it out. And my format accomplishes that, after giving the smaller teams a chance, and giving consistently superior performing teams an advantage, and ensuring that most matches meaningful, which I think is the most important part.

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