Thursday, March 17, 2011

Cricket World Cup format

We are finally coming to an end of the Preliminary games of the World Cup! 6 long weeks and 45 games to eliminate 5 minnows and one of the 9 regular cricket playing teams.
This is an awful long time and far too many games to eliminate one of West Indies and Bangladesh, although England have threatened a number of times to get themselves eliminated and there is a remote chance India may be eliminated.

And then in 4 days and 4 games, 4 of the TOP 8 teams will be eliminated. This format provides no incentive to perform well in the Preliminary games. Once you “qualify” for the TOP 8, all teams are on even keel. The best team on the day will qualify for the Semi Final and the other team (even if they have won all their preliminary games) will be eliminated.

One can see the consumer disenchantment with this format with low ground attendance and low TRP ratings, notwithstanding the allegations of spot fixing and match fixing. We have also lost a number of big names to injury. Apparently, the long drawn out format is to appease the media and make the most of the media rights. I would argue that a crisp interesting format will lead to more spectators on the grounds and higher TRP ratings.

My format would be
1. Keep all the teams so we can still enjoy performances from Ireland(Kevin O'Brien), Netherlands (Ten Doeschate) and Canada (Patel) and the odd upset
2. Reduce the duration of the tournament by playing more games in parallel
3. TOP team in each group gets a direct entry to the Semi Finals
4. 2nd and 3rd team in each group play each other to determine the other semi finalists

I believe this will ensure that there is a lot of incentive for the teams during the preliminary games and also keep the consumer interest throughout the tournament by reducing the number of dead rubbers.

Sai Mahesh
Sydney, Australia

1 comment:

  1. This is exactly the same format Dean Jones was recommending in a talk show today on NDTV. Glad that common cricket lovers like you and me can think in those lines.


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