Earl Eddings, the chairman of Cricket Australia, recently said that we need 10-20 strong test countries and Deutrom believes a larger World Cup of 50 over is essential to bolster global competitiveness in the other formats.
We believe that better 50 teams across will also improve the testing environments, and we think that’s just cricket logic, he said.
In the previous format for a 14-team World Cup, the top four teams in each pool advanced to the quarter-finals. While that structure could be reused, alternatives are possible.
For example – similar to the play-off format used in the Indian Premier League – the two best sides in each pool could play for a semi-final, with the losers of these games then going to be the winners of the matches between the thirds. Meet. – and fourth-placed parties to join them in the semi-finals. Such a system would reward the top two teams in each pool by effectively giving them a second chance in the final stage. One point of criticism of the previous 14-team format was that the front runners in the group stage were insufficiently rewarded.
Another crucial area under discussion is the future of the ODI Super League. The ongoing first iteration of the competition includes 13 teams, but each side only plays eight of the 12 possible opponents. There is growing support for reforming the tournament to see every side play against every opponent, which is seen as giving more athletic integrity to the league – crucial given that it is the foundation for World Cup qualification. But a complication is India’s continued opposition to playing matches against Pakistan outside of ICC events.
ANALYSIS: Cricket now has a chance to fix a huge blunder
In 2016, Scottish captain Preston Mommsen was in the shape of his life. But at the age of 29, he quit the game to get a job with a real estate management company.
What was there every day to keep me motivated and driven to want to continue in the game? Mommsen asked when he retired. He had led Scotland at the 2015 World Cup, but the subsequent reduction of the tournament to 10 teams contributed to his decision to retire. You need that kind of carrot there that motivates you.
The story of Mommsens illustrates a particularly perverse effect of the 10-team World Cup: it harms emerging countries on the field by taking away the motivation for players to play. Indeed, at least half a dozen cricketers in Scotland have retired prematurely since 2015. Fewer opportunities to make it to the World Cup also means less chance to attract new sponsors and raise funds to build infrastructure and keep cricketers in the sport. Most importantly, fewer World Cup berths prevent countries from growing the sport and thereby gaining new fans and players. Ireland, which toppled five test nations in the 2007-15 World Cups – including Pakistan, England and the West Indies – was the catalyst for their rise to full member status.
In recent years, there has been a simple response to all the positive claims of the globalization of crickets: Which sport is making its flagship World Cup smaller?
At best, a World Cup is three events in one: a celebration of a worldwide sporting people; a way to further develop the sport; and a tool to crown the world champions. A 10-team World Cup is limited to the last, as unsatisfying as a Sunday roast without roast potatoes and Yorkshire pudding.
Initially it was promised that a World Cup with 10 teams would be shorter and sharper. Instead, the tournament succeeded in an extraordinary magic trick – it simultaneously had four teams less than the 2015 event and yet somehow it lasted two days longer.
Other sports are all in all more enlightened. Since cricket has contracted its World Cup since 2007, when Ireland had the nerve to take out Pakistan, other sports have done the exact opposite. Basketball – which cricket likes to consider itself more popular than – has doubled the size of the men’s World Cup from 16 to 32 countries since 2006. Rugby Union has 20 teams in the World Cup, Baseball and Rugby League 16. Even kabbadi – kabbadi! – has 12.
The big shame is that the contraction of the World Cup crickets has come just at the moment when the sport depth is greater than ever. Scotland, which ranks 15th in ODI cricket, beat England in 2018 and nearly shot the West Indies to reach the 2019 World Cup; the following year they lost ODIs to Oman and the US.
It is often said that T20 is the tool of sports globalization. While the T20 offers unique opportunities to boost global sports growth, that’s not enough.
Participation in the ODI World Cup offers emerging countries a crucial path to develop and shake up the sports fun cartel. It is perverse that now more countries are allowed to play Test Cricket than they are allowed to play in any ODI World Cup. Barring a blatant lbw decision in the CWC qualifiers, the West Indies would have missed the final tournament, with disastrous consequences for the sport in the region. The ICC has long said it wants countries to be more financially self-sufficient, but by denying emerging teams exposure, the 10-team World Cup is actively preventing them from doing so.
But. And it’s a big but. While it would be welcome to make the World Cup more inclusive, the format needs to be improved from the 14-team version last used in 2015. This did not reward well the best placed teams in each group, avoiding tension in the group matches.
There is a simple solution: borrow from the IPL. After the group stage, a play-off system could be used to determine who would reach the semi-finals. The two best teams in each group could meet for a semi-final, with the losers then playing the winners of clashes between the third and fourth-placed teams to reach the semi-final. This adjustment would reward excellence in the group stage – teams in the top two get two chances to reach the semi-finals, but those who finish third or fourth must win two games to reach this stage – thus creating excitement at the top . of each group, rather than just between teams vying to squeeze into the top four.
With the final stages increased from seven games to nine, more days in the group stage can include two games per day, creating a more dynamic tournament. More knockout matches than the three in the 10-team format would be welcome to fans and broadcasters.
Sometimes it can feel like cricket spends every World Cup worrying about the right format to use. There is no utopian solution that reflects the inevitable tensions in designing a World Cup – between maximizing danger and money; between heavy collisions and growing the sport; and between plenty of guaranteed matches for teams from the biggest countries and the uncertainty of knockout matches. But after the insularity of the 10-team World Cup, a 14-team event, with better rewards for group winners, feels like a much more satisfying answer to these eternal trade-offs.
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