June 13, 2009

T20 World Cup

Group bug

Cricinfo

From Ankit R Gulechha, India
The group stages of the ICC World Twenty20 are over and the Super 8 leg kicked off two days back. It would interest many of us to see how rules laid by ICC has left a few matches insignificant in group stages and also led to formation of one sided groups.

According to the rules, irrespective of the number of matches a team wins in the Group stages or the position in which they finish in their group, they will move forward to the next round based on their ranking which was determined after the last edition of world cup. Just to give an example, though South Africa finished on top of group D, they were ranked as D2 and moved to group E. If ICC had not made such rules South Africa would have moved to group F.

Now what this did is that it made the last league match between South Africa and New Zealand insignificant, because irrespective of result South Africa would go to group E and New Zealand to Group F.

Similarly the Sri Lanka and West Indies match became a practice match for them before super Eights. If the rules were, and should have been, that group leaders are ranked based on performance in this world cup, and not last years, then the groups would have been like these: Group E: India (A1), Pakistan (B2), Sri Lanka (C1), New Zealand (D2) and Group F: Ireland (A2), England (B1), West Indies (C2), South Africa (D1).

If we look at the current group we have to feel for England, West Indies and South Africa on having lost out on a match with Ireland. What this bizarre rule has done is placed three group toppers (India, England and South Africa) in one group, which is unfair.

The team which has gained most from this is Sri Lanka. Not only do they play Ireland in Super 8, but also two other teams which finished runners up in their groups. Overall the group E looks tight with the favorites being South Africa followed by a three way race between India, West Indies and England for second semi-final spot from group.

Whereas Group F is a three way race with Sri lanka and New Zealand favorites to go through to semi-finals after a dismal performance by Pakistan. I hope the ICC will take into consideration these factors for the next edition of world cup or Champions trophy.

RELATED LINKS

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Aneesh on (June 24, 2009, 1:58 GMT)

diminuendo hit the nail on the head. The ICC has this crazy system for a good reason -- for the fans' benefit. It lets fans buy tickets & make travel plans having some assurance that they will see their team in action.

Posted by D.V.C. on (June 19, 2009, 12:05 GMT)

Regardless of the way things worked out the author has a point. It is truly rediculous that in a world cup event that teams do not progress to the second round based on their performance in the first round.

Further, given that 2 teams were to go through from every pool then a better intial grouping would have been: A:1,5,12; B:2,6,11; C:3,7,10; D:4,8,9.

Posted by diminuendo on (June 17, 2009, 10:35 GMT)

As a travelling supporter I'm hugely in favour of the seeding system. It meant I could book tickets, get days off work, make travel plans in advance and know with a degree of certainty that I was going to see the teams I wanted to see. Which I did. Not so important in an England-hosted World Cup perhaps, but it helps to know if the team you support might be playing in JoBurg or Cape Town in advance...

It's possible that the seeds that were awarded should have been looked at a bit more closely (I think most people would have seeded SA ahead of NZ, which would have given 2 group winners per Super8 Group) but the system itself is a brilliant idea for fans.

Posted by sfernando on (June 16, 2009, 21:25 GMT)

this is silly analysis and proved wrong by events and display writer's pro india bias. its remark on sl benefiting from this format is wrong. sl got in after defeating aus and west indies. india on the other hand got in to super8 after defeating bangladesh and ireland. if it had better teams if would have crashed out earlier and two groups would be equal in super8. but bias blinds.

Posted by waterbuffalo on (June 16, 2009, 8:41 GMT)

So SL and NZ were the favourites to go through after the "dismal" performance of Pakistan, huh? I love it when people like you who are so sure of themselves are proven wrong. Pakistan is still around and India are looking for excuses and good bargains from shopping in London.

Posted by Andrew on (June 15, 2009, 3:01 GMT)

The opening groups were not thought out. Australia gets two established countries in West Indies and Sri Lanka while India gets ireland and bangladesh. If you swapped one of the teams from Australias group with either ireland or bangladesh it would have been quite fair. Two major countries and one minor/associate country for each group. This meant that while australia crashed out early, India had to wait till tey started playing real oppostiion to crash out.

Posted by greff on (June 14, 2009, 21:19 GMT)

I will be interested to see how the BCCI will manage to secure India's semi final place now!

Posted by Sharan on (June 13, 2009, 14:26 GMT)

Nice post-- i agree, the pooling system is downright ridiculous ..

Comments have now been closed for this article