Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A bad format

I should have written this post long before the world cup began and my sincere apologies for not having done that earlier. I was just going through the fixtures of the world cup when something else struck my mind. Of course, it was nothing related to Balitang Kalye but was all related to the world cup itself and more precisely speaking the time table of the same. It is no doubt that the world cup has started well on time with the season being perfect for the mega event with chances of rain being comparatively less. But the same is not true regarding its fixtures.

As it has been the case since the 1996 edition (barring the 2007 edition), this time as well the teams have been divided into two groups with 7 countries in each group. Needless to be said, four from each group will advance to the quarter finals of the tournament. And that is where the problem starts which shows that the format is a lot unfair like it happened in the 1996 world cup. Unlike in the last three editions of the world cup, this time there are three knock out stages unlike it being two in the last three editions.

One can imagine the world cup held in the sub continent with the quarter finals in place. All teams from one group namely India, Sri Lanka, Australia and the West Indies qualified to the semi finals with none from group B advancing. Pakistan, South Africa, New Zealand and England had to end their world cup dreams there itself. Despite winning all five matches in the league stages, South Africa were forced to return home after losing to the West Indies who were outplayed by Kenya a couple of weeks earlier. So was the case with Pakistan who had lost only one game to South Africa before India shattered their dreams.

Finally the world cup was won by a team who didn't lose a single match en route to the finals. But, at the same time, Sri Lanka didn't play matches against the West Indies, Australia (in the league stage), Pakistan, South Africa and New Zealand. Doubts definitely would arise whether Sri Lanka would have emerged victorious had they played the aforementioned teams. The only major victories for Sri Lanka in that trophy was twice against India- one in the league stages and the other in the semis and the quarter finals against England and the finals against Australia. This also reduces the number of matches with most of the major encounters missing out.

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