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World Cup 2011

Hosts to play World Cup knockouts at home

Sidharth Monga

November 23, 2010

Comments: 68 | Text size: A | A

World Cup 2011 director Ratnakar Shetty poses with India and Sri Lanka players during the launch of the tournament mascot 'Stumpy', Colombo, August 2, 2010
Host nations - Sri Lanka, India and Bangladesh - have a good chance of playing their knockout matches at home © AFP
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Series/Tournaments: ICC Cricket World Cup

The three teams jointly hosting the 2011 World Cup - Sri Lanka, India and Bangladesh - will get to play their knockout matches, should they make it that far, at home venues irrespective of where they finish in their group. However, if two of the host nations draw each other in the knockout stages, the team placed higher in the pre-tournament seeding - frozen about a year ago - will get preference.

If, for example, India make it to the quarters, they will play their match in Ahmedabad (one of the four venues) even if they draw Sri Lanka because India were better placed better when the teams were seeded. With the final scheduled in India, it ensures they will play at home in whatever knockout matches they qualify for.

Sri Lanka will play India away, but Bangladesh and other teams at home. Bangladesh will play away if they are to draw any other host nation in the quarter-finals, but will get a home game if they are playing any other team.

These rules imply that the match schedule for the knockout stages will not be known until the fate of the three host teams becomes clear. An ICC source said that the knockout schedule, as it is planned, has the potential to affect the tournament's logistics and other organisational aspects. "The knockout stages can't be sorted out until the last group game, which is India versus West Indies in Chennai on March 20. Everything will be clear only after that," the source said.

Two of the four quarter-finals are scheduled to be played in Mirpur, and one each in Ahmedabad and Colombo. If all three hosts make it to the quarters, and don't draw each other, the scheduling will be simple: India's match in Ahmedabad, Sri Lanka's in Colombo, Bangladesh's in Mirpur, and the fourth quarter in Mirpur as well.

The league stage will feature two groups of seven each, with the top four from each progressing to the quarters. India and Bangladesh are in the same group, so they will not meet each other in the quarters.

The traditional formula will be followed to determine who plays whom in quarter-finals, wherein the team finishing at the top of Group A meets the team finishing fourth in Group B (by extension A1 v B4, A2 v B3, A3 v B2, A4 v B1).

Mohali and Colombo will host the semi-finals, and there too the host teams will have the preference of playing at home. The match-ups will be decided according to the schedule, and the winner of the first quarter-final will meet the winner of the third quarter-final. The winners of the quarter-finals in Mirpur will face each other in one of the semi-finals, and the other two winners in the other. So, in a hypothetical scenario, if India and Sri Lanka play their quarter-finals in their respective countries and win their matches, they will play each other in Mohali.

The format is similar to the 1992 World Cup where New Zealand would have had to travel to Sydney had they drawn Australia for the semi-final. As it turned out, Australia failed to make it that far, and New Zealand played their semi in Auckland.

However, the 1996 World Cup, played in India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, didn't have any such provision in place: the match-ups and venues were pre-decided. India finished third in their group with a lead of two points over fourth-placed West Indies. Had India finished fourth, they would have had to travel to Karachi to play the third quarter-final, against South Africa who finished first in their group. As it turned out, India drew Pakistan in the second quarter-final, scheduled for Bangalore.

In the subsequent World Cups, Super Sixes and Super Eights replaced the quarter-finals concept. In 2007, the ICC made sure the schedule of the Super Eights wouldn't change according to where the teams finished in their group stages, thus making it simpler for the fans to book tickets for their teams' matches well in advance.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at Cricinfo

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Comments: 68 
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Posted by Dummy4 on (November 29, 2010, 23:49 GMT)

@vikrampranav : "This is jst to make sure indians are through to Semi finals." ...srsly ... you think world cup games that too quarter finals and semi finals would be decided on the basis of where they are played?? How many times has a host nation won the world cup?? The only instance I can remember is the 96 world cup that sri lanka won.... even there have you forgotten india's shameful defeat at the eden to SL. From what I can gauge... all this is just to make sure the host teams' fans dont need to travel outside their country as much as possible!!!

Posted by Navin Chandar on (November 29, 2010, 14:53 GMT)

I think India should have just hosted all the Knockout matches instead of giving other hosts a chance to play their knock outs in their home base. Then, there wouldnt have been any whining.

Posted by Rajeev on (November 29, 2010, 9:48 GMT)

stupid format...the super eight thing was good enough

Posted by vikram on (November 27, 2010, 11:09 GMT)

I cant help with out laughing. What a joke, celebrity big brother has come to play again. This is jst to make sure indians are through to Semi finals. Good tactic by BCCI and very well support by ICC. Keep up the good work. Where is the transparency of these decisions. Don't let the very best teams to qualify for Finals. Do what ever you can to satisfy indian team. Otherwise they will be saying they were really tired of travelling all the way to SL or Bangladesh n will be moaning about the pitches. This is clearly bias because now indians have a great deal of chance to play all most all their matches in their backyard. If this comment publish Cricinfo staffs are doing their job with out bias otherwise they don't. And one more thing I can't understand why some of these ppl r saying in this method indians are the dominant just bcz of india is higher ranked than others. does that make any sense. if it's so why the hell we need a world cup, just post the World cup to Australia. Done.

Posted by Shankar on (November 25, 2010, 23:05 GMT)

@U.A.1985, Pre-tournament seeding was used in 1992 as well. Rankings at the beginning or during the tournament had no impact on whether NZ will have to play Aus in Aus if both made it to semifinals. Same here. As to 1996 not using pre-tournament seeding, 1996 tournament did not have host advantage factored in. It was a fixed schedule and every team knew exactly where they will play every single match before the tournament started. If you look at past few world cups, there has been always experimentation with the scheduling to maximize audience and revenue. I remember there was a ODI or T-20 world cup within the past 3 - 4 years where irrespective of how many matches you won in the tournament, you will still end up being second best in your group based on your pre-tournament seeding. At least the current experiment makes more sense than that one.

Posted by Umair on (November 25, 2010, 14:03 GMT)

@nlambda - Please read comments from bottom to up; you would see several from Sri Lankans

@Shan_Karthic - No problems with that system only problem is that why "pre-tournament seeding is included" when it was not there in 1996? Infact 1996 was similar to 1992...

Posted by Chandramohan on (November 25, 2010, 10:57 GMT)

In 2011 WC India has advantage, Since MSD has very good record in India. Also, when SL Won last time they had Jaya and Kalu followed by De Silva and Ranatunga. This time around India has a very strong batting line up and that too in subcontinental conditions, we have a good advantage. Also, Sachin has a dream and will work hard for it. ALL INDIANS WILL PRAY AND HOPE FOR US TO WIN WC 2011 as a gift for Sachin.

Posted by Fadzai on (November 25, 2010, 9:40 GMT)

India will get thwarted in this World Cup so no need to worry my fellow anti-Indian supporters. We should not even lose sleep over India.

Posted by awais on (November 24, 2010, 22:52 GMT)

its unlucky for us that we lost home advantage despite being a co-host for 2011 world cup. but it doesnt mean other co-hosts should lose the advantage too. its the part of game that host countries get the advantage of home crowd so lets not make a big deal out of it.yeah we r hurt that world cup matches have been taken away from us but its nobody's fault its just a bad luck.so being a neighbor i just wanna support india n then sri lanka n bangladesh to perform well n take full advantage of home crowd.if we r strong enough we will win anywhere against anyone n if not, let the better team win

Posted by Naveed on (November 24, 2010, 22:14 GMT)

INDIA will never get past quarter final stage...MARK MY WORDS.

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