My Opinion on the Cricket World Cup

The FIFA World Cup is watched all over the world, by millions of different people. It is a huge sporting event that has 32 different nations involved, competing against one another.

Football is not a huge interest of mine, but the possibility for various reactions does make it interesting and worth watching.

The Cricket World Cup Format

When it comes to the ICC Cricket World Cup, how does it compare? To begin with, the format of the Cricket World Cup has been messed with one too many times; cricket’s premier ODI tournament has contained just three varying formats in past three editions.

Cricket World Cup 2015The ICC lacks a reasonable, suitable format, even though there have been a wide variety of different numbers of teams, matches and group structures lately in cricket. In 1975 and 1979, there were only eight teams in a single round-robin format, and in 1983 and 1987 there were eight with a double round-robin format instead.

Following South Africa’s surprising inclusion in the World Cup, each of the nine teams included faced the other, one time, in order to determine the semi-finalists of the Cup. In 1996, there were only twelve teams and quarter-finals, while 1999 and 2003 had twelve and fourteen teams, which lead to a Super Six round both times.

In 2007, sixteen teams were divided into four separate groups, followed by a Super Eight round to determine the final four. 2011 saw a reversion to this format, and this will also occur in 2015.

However, the idea which has been put out there in regards to 2019′s game, takes the cake with how ridiculous it is. It is set to include only ten teams in a round-robin format, leading to the determination of the top four.

This is irresponsible decision making from the ICC, and the cricket World Cup doesn’t have much of a chance of matching its football counterpart if things run this way.

New Structure for World Cup

Following the implementation of a new internal governance structure, those who had power years ago used the work ‘meritocracy’ in interviews and press conferences.

Clearly, bringing back the hollowness of the 2019 World Cup format would be the right way to introduce this meritocracy that they so strongly believe in. If they don’t, N. Srinivasan, the new chairman, will again show themselves as just after the money, and as hypocrites. It is not fair to remove half of the world out of what is called the World Cup for a reason.

The 2019 is said to contain the top eight ranked sides who will qualify automatically. This will lead to at least a dozen Associate teams who will then compete for the final two spots in the tournament.

A Place in the World Cup

If there is hardly a chance of even qualifying for a place in the World Cup, then how will developing teams, such as Nepal and Papua New Guinea be able to improve themselves and feel what the world stage is actually like?

So, what do I suggest as an alternative? Well, the 2011 and 2015 formats are not well thought-out, with fourteen teams playing up to six games in the group competition, and then the top four from each of the two groups entering into the quarter-finals with a sudden death match – out or in.

This consistency is not very rewarding when the stakes get high. A team that is extremely successful during the group phase will be easily disqualified if they have a bad day. Also, coupled with never-ending corruption in the tournaments, teams easily feel motivated to drop a game in the league stage because that will not stop them from qualifying for knockout rounds.

World Cup in the Past

The 2007 World Cup format, in my opinion, was organized very well. Played in the West Indies, it has a very effective 4 x 4 group structure (four teams in each of the four groups competing in three matches), and then halved.

However, the specialty wore off in the second round, in the Super Eight portion of the tournament. This is when each of the teams that qualified, played against every other qualifier that was not part of its group.

This meant a total of six matches in the second round, giving the World Cup a very over packed look and feel. Many even considered it a failure due to this long, dragged out tournament format. The game killer was definitely the unneeded, extra long second round.

My Opinion

In my opinion, the best structure in 2007 would have been to stick to a more condensed outlook for the Super Eight. It would have definitely been more successful if the first round had had more matches than the second round.

An example would be the eight teams being divided into two groups of four each in the second round, giving each team three matches in each of the two rounds. Six games to prove their skill and worth for the semi-finals seems like a reasonable and sensible format to me.

ICC Cricket World Cup Matches and Tournaments

Since it started in the 1970s the ICC Cricket World Cup has become increasingly popular. The UAE itself is in a good position to host cricket matches and tournaments, which it has done since the 1980s.

It is particularly close for cricket fans from India and Pakistan to travel to watch matches, many of whom are prepared to spend a great deal of money to follow their teams.

Bidding to Host the Cricket World Cup

The inspiration to bid for the 2027 Cricket World Cup was provided by Qatar winning the bid to host the soccer world cup in 2022. The UAE Cricket Board has formed links with Qatar to make use of its experience in successfully bidding to host global sporting tournaments. Besides if they succeed it will cause no controversial debate as Qatar’s winning bid has.

Hosting World Cup Games

Cricket World Cup TrophyQatar did not have a suitable ground for cricket matches, so its cricket board had one built at Doha. It recently hosted a ladies tournament featuring Pakistan, South Africa, and Ireland.

The facility was well-received by the competing teams. Between Doha, Dubai, and Sharjah there are now three grounds already worthy of hosting world cup games.

There is a great deal of prestige attached to holding the event, and it is really easy to market in the Indian subcontinent. Supporters from the subcontinent will gladly travel to the UAE, it is much closer to home for them then Australia, England, New Zealand, and South Africa happen to be.

The major cricket playing countries have all frequently played in the UAE and so have the minor ones so there would be no reason for any of them to oppose playing in a world cup there.

The main ground at Sharjah is well-known by all nations that play international cricket. It also has the distinction of having being the venue for more one day internationals than any other ground across the globe.

The amount of cricket matches already played in the UAE provides ample evidence that hosting the world cup could be easily achieved. They have already hosted test matches for Pakistan, and received praise from the home and the away teams for doing so. The next series between Pakistan and Australia is the next one to be played there.

UAE Cricket Board

The UAE Cricket Board has pulled off the considerable coup of hosting games in the IPL, currently the most lucrative and popular club cricket competition in the world. The decision was made due to concerns about the safety of playing games in India itself in the midst of a general election campaign.

The decision of the Indians to play the IPL there could provide the future venue for test matches between India and Pakistan, and allay security fears that make games between these most bitter of rivals a rarity. They usually only meet each other on neutral soil, in tournaments. When they play against each other in India security has to be tight.

Now the UAE has already started to increase it’s suitability for hosting the 2027 tournament by building a new stadium already, as mentioned above. It could also build more of them if it had to do so. Any new grounds would be of the highest standards.