After watching the ruthless thrashing of minnows Kenya & Canada at the hands of stronger teams, I write this article , pointing out issues with the current format and making a few suggestions towards changing the same..
Far too many 1-sided matches in early stages..
There are only 4 teams out of 7 in each group which are strong ( & the only ones worthy to be playing in the WC in the first place). Thus there are only 6+6=12 matches worth watching in the first league..(India-bangladesh match should have been a dead match after the first innings…but India’s bowling & fielding had some other plans.), leaving the rest 30 matches not worth watching…The result is empty stands, waste of electricity in day-night encounters and an unncessary long tournament
The question I ask is “Should the minnows be playing at the same level as other teams in the 1st phase of the WC? “
Agreed that there have been upsets in almost every WC played so far..but I hope there aren’t any this time, after seeing the level of cricket go down when Kenya made it to semis in 2003 & Bangla-Ireland entered last 8 in 2007..
Some might even say that minnows get a chance to display their skills in front of the world’s best..True but they donot play much cricket in between WCs and their show at such grand competition level is generally way below par…
I hence suggest to slightly change the format of the WC..The top 8 teams can be divided into 2 groups & top 4 teams, 2 from each qualify for the next round with points from the previous group carried forward..The next 2 teams, one from each group , then play knock out matches with 2 teams qualified from the “bottom ranked group of 6 teams”..Each team then plays 1 match with 3 teams from opposite group in super 6 for a total of 9 matches, to have our final 4 & the tournament will continue as normal..
In this way every team , including the weaker ones will get enough opportunity to showcase their talents, The tournament will be more compact with only 34 matches as compared to current 49 and there will be lesser no of 1-sided matches as the weaker teams would have already won a couple of matches & better prepared before competing with the 5h & 6th best of the top 8 group of teams..This will also demand the top teams to be always on their toes as they will only be playing with tough opponents right from start…