Home > Cricket Development > Why not just have 11 teams and make everyone happy?

Why not just have 11 teams and make everyone happy?

Lets not have 14 teams, Lets not have only 10 full members either. Lets have 10 full members + 1 associate (the WCL Div 1 winner). If a round robin is held, it will be 55 games. These can be wrapped up in 27 days, then another week for the semis and final. You get the 34 day world cup, and you also get the round robin that is apparently so important. Additionally associates are not completely blocked, there is a small entry point, albiet only for 1.

One entry point does help if one associate country is out performing all the others by a big margin, like Ireland seem to be doing right now, and like Zimbabwe and Srilanka have done in the past. Where it doesnt help is, that the winner is not always the best associate. Ireland in 2007 were the 2nd associate to qualify (Scotland was the best), Canada was 3rd in 2003 (Netherlands and Namibia were higher), Kenya was 2nd in 1996 (UAE were higher). Only in 1999 was the associate with the most impact made the top qualifier (Bangladesh), and that was off the last ball in their ICC Trophy qualifier against Kenya. So the ICC will have to pick the top associate based on a large number of performances, and not just one tournament.

Many people incorrectly believe that the world cup is about finding the best team. Thats not really the case. Australia was best in 1975, but WI won. WI was best in 1983, but India won. Pakistan/India were best in 1987, but Australia won. England/NZ were best in 1992, but Pakistan won. SA were best in 1996, but Srilanka won. SA were best in 1999, but Australia won. The world cup is about winning a tournament that has the maximum challenge from the world. It is about celebrating the “global” nature of the sport. It is about celebrating the cricketers from all over the world, about giving them a stage, and about giving them the same experience as the best get. It is NOT supposed to be a “quick FTP”.

A world cup is also about big matches. As dumb as it sounds, Ireland knocking out Pakistan and Bangladesh knocking out India, or Kenya almost knocking out WI in 1996, is exactly what a world cup is. No minnow in any sport can be expected to go an beat a champion nation over a 7 game series. Someone can come and say that the semi finals should be a best of 5 series, followed by the final to be a best of 7 series, but thats just not the case. In my opinion a round robin league where everyone plays everyone else was good in 1992 when there was no FTP, and cricket was played sparsely. But now the same thing cannot be looked at as exciting.

Neither is a drubbing of a minnow for that matter. ICC should focus on raising the standards of the 4 associate qualifiers, and fix their stupid scheduling next time. The rest will take care of itself.

Categories: Cricket Development
  1. Bruce
    March 10, 2011 at 8:50 am

    “Lets not have 14 teams, Lets not have only 10 full members either. Lets have 10 full members + 1 associate” Or even better still leave it at 14 with the sensible proposal you outlined in your latest blog of 2 games a day and 3 qualifiers from each group!

    “Many people incorrectly believe that the world cup is about finding the best team.”

    Exactly, only those wishing to exercise bragging rights or not knowing much about sport would claim otherwise. Granted world cups are great at showing which teams react best under pressure, but in reality if you want to know which team is the best in the world then the rankings are where to look. This is the case with most team sports, and Cricket’s ranking system is not bad, even though few would be able to tell you how it is calculated.

    As you say the world cup is about minnows and 2nd tier teams coming through and announcing their place on the world stage. Reducing it to 10 teams makes it little more special than an ICC trophy or 20/20 cup. If the Cricket World cup is realistically going to be the “Establishment 8” + Bangladesh + A.N. Other from now on we risk the next Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Kenya, Ireland not getting the opportunity to announce themselves to the world stage, with the likes of Zimbabwe, with Cricket history but not really going anywhere, taking the last spot. Where do rapidly improved Afhghanistan go from here?

    Other Global or quasi-global sports, Football, Rugby, Baseball, Basketball, all have world cup/championships (though granted the US based sports don’t take them as seriously) where countries one wouldn’t normally associate with the sport compete, they can no doubt see the benefit of this in promoting the sport, which outweighs short term commercial gains and the odd thrashing of a minnow.

    Perhaps the ideal compromise would be a 12 team cup, which gives room for 2 or 3 non-establishment teams to take part, that at least gives the top half dozen associates something to aim for (doubling or tripling the chance of them qualifying).

    Finally, what games do people remember from thwe WC 4 years ago? Ireland vs Pakistan and India vs Bangladesh, or the thrashings like Aus vs Netherlands, (assuming they played, I can’t actually remember).

  2. amit
    March 21, 2011 at 9:13 am

    how about 12 teams & super 8. it would still be 49 matches & the full members get exactly what they want and the associates are kept interested with atleast 2 spots up for grabs

    the format will be group stages (30 matches) + super 8s (16 matches) + semis & final (3 matches) = 49 matches in all

    the super 8s would make all the money for icc and will provide a everyone plays everyone situation. the qualification to the super 8s will mean that teams like bangladesh & ireland will have something to aim for. 4 teams out of 6 qualifying means less danger of teams like india & pakistan getting knocked out and if a team can win 2 matches & maintain a good nrr, they should go through

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