Pakistan to push for a shorter World Cup
A meeting between the host nations for World Cup 2011 - Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh - is to take place in Bangalore this week with Pakistan pushing for a shorter and more practical format for the tournament. The meeting, to take place on the sidelines of the third Test between India and Pakistan, will have PCB officials proposing a format featuring 14 teams, with a duration of five weeks.
"We want to have a relatively smaller World Cup in 2011 both in terms of participating teams and the number of days," Shafqat Naghmi, PCB's chief operating officer, told the News.
"The idea is to ensure that our World Cup doesn't have the sort of ingredients that affected this year's tournament in the West Indies," he said. The 2007 World Cup consisted of 16 teams with the event lasting over 50 days.
"We are least interested in the 2007 World Cup format because it has been seen that one bad day can end the World Cup for even the best of teams." India and Pakistan both exited after the first round of the tournament.
He said that the PCB was more interested in reverting to the format of the 2003 World Cup held in South Africa in which the 14 participating teams were divided into two groups.
"Such a format guarantees that each of the competing teams will get at least six matches in the competition. It will also guarantee that the tournament will take less days to finish," he said, adding that long duration was of the biggest reasons why the 2007 World Cup failed to live up to expectations.
According to Naghmi, another format under consideration would guarantee second-round places for the world's top eight teams while the bottom-placed six teams will compete in the opening round.
"This is our second option though such a format would give the World Cup a slow start with only the lower-ranked teams playing in the initial days. The ICC will have the final say on the World Cup format but we believe if the host boards agree on a unified stand then they [ICC] will also give its approval."
Board officials from the four countries will be meeting on December 7 and 8 before being joined by an ICC representative on December 9.