World T20 2014

World T20, two-tiered success

Brevity and levity are at the heart of the World T20's success and, although the men were now in action for three weeks rather than two, there was no sense of bloating. If anything, the two distinct stages lent a freshness to one another.

Alan Gardner

April 7, 2014

Comments: 51 | Text size: A | A
Crowe: T20 is the Associates' format

Cricket has long had its format wars but the transition to a new-model World T20 seems to have been a peaceful one. Inviting a few more Associates to sit at the table - even if they were only given stools to begin with - was a rousing success, with memorable wins against Full-Member opposition for Netherlands, Hong Kong and Ireland.

The first round was an up-tempo tightrope walk for Bangladesh, the hosts, and Zimbabwe. The latter were sent tumbling out, pushed off balance by Ireland and then downed by a trapeze act from Netherlands. Bangladesh seemed to have converted a sense of umbrage at effectively having to qualify for their own tournament into a storm-the-beaches show of force, winning their opening two games comfortably; then came the night when it all went wrong against Hong Kong in Chittagong.

Victory for Hong Kong, the last of the 16 teams to qualify for the World T20, against a Test-playing nation - albeit one of the weakest - ought to be remembered as one of the great upsets. It sent Bangladesh into a tailspin, though it should have also provided a reality check. They were once the side that noisily celebrated the overthrow of established powers but the competition below them appears to be growing.

There was little "Joy Bangla" thereafter, as qualification brought a series of heavy defeats for the national team. The locals in Dhaka, Chittagong and Sylhet were able to enjoy the rest of the tournament, however, as the main group stages played out a series of close-fought, entertaining matches.

Lonwabo Tsotsobe reacts after being hit for a six by Stephan Myburgh, Netherlands v South Africa, World T20, Group 1, Chittagong, March 27, 2014
Bright orange: The Netherlands were the most vibrant of the associates © Getty Images

In the women's event up in Sylhet, crowds thronged to the picturesque ground set in a tea garden. England and Australia, the two eventual finalists, both lost their opening games, while South Africa reached the last four for the first time with a dramatic win in their final group match against New Zealand. Bangladesh, making their debut, pulled off a memorable win over Sri Lanka to further endorse the competition's expansion.

The men's Super 10 featured one intensely competitive group - the one with the Associate involved. After their record-breaking, genre-expanding win over Ireland to steal into the second round, Netherlands were bowled out for 39 by Sri Lanka and then should have beaten South Africa. A coolly taken victory over England in their final match provided catharsis. The Netherlands story was another vibrant thread weaved into the tournament's tapestry, while at the same time helped highlight how precarious life can be for cricket's second-tier citizens.

Brevity and levity are at the heart of the World T20's success and, although the men were now in action for three weeks rather than two, there was no sense of bloating. If anything, the two distinct stages lent a freshness to one another. Nepal's delight was unbounded by their two wins, even though they didn't progress. Afghanistan's chagrin at failing to make a bigger mark was equally notable. The quality level then rose as the bigger boys took their ball back.

The ICC reported a resounding success on attendance figures, as the Bangladeshi people lived up to their cricket-mad reputation. All games were sold out, though whether quite that many made it through the turnstiles was harder to calculate. One problem with the format of playing the women's semi-finals and finals before the men's was highlighted by how few spectators bothered to come for the early game. Increasingly, it seems, women's T20 deserves to be sold as a proposition in its own right - an idea that will be tested with a first standalone tournament in 2018.

Such is the nature of life at the ICC that it cannot be sure of retaining the 16-team men's format in two years' time. However, it seems certain that if T20 is to be cricket's growth vehicle, it needs to have as many countries on board as it possibly can. Playing at global tournaments is the best way for the smaller teams to adjust and improve, be it to the increased media attention, the extra security or the pressure of competition at the highest level.

Playing at global tournaments is the best way for the smaller teams to adjust and improve, be it to the increased media attention, the extra security or the pressure of competition at the highest level

Charlie Burke, Hong Kong's coach, emphasised how important such experience was. "The one big thing that I say to the players is you've got to soak everything up," he said during the first round. "It's not every day you get to play in a World T20 and play on such a big stage in front of cameras."

Of course, the most daring thing the ICC could do would be to introduce an even more meritocratic structure: four groups of four, with the top two progressing to the quarter-finals, from which point the competition would be a straight knockout. Theoretically, the eight grandees would all go through but the level of jeopardy would be increased. There would be mismatches but there would also be the very real chance of thrillingly unexpected reversals. The whole thing would still only take about three weeks.

Sadly, TV rights being what they are, too much rides on certain teams being involved in a guaranteed number of matches, rendering such a bold move unlikely. The current set-up may be the best we can wish for but, if the 2014 World T20 taught us anything, it is that we should never stop daring to dream.

Alan Gardner is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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Posted by SirViv1973 on (April 10, 2014, 12:27 GMT)

@Jaseem Amer, I don't think you can have a continental cup on other continents like we see in Asia, due to the lack of depth across the other continents. Potentially a 2nd tier event could be played in europe where Eng Lions or a devoplment team could represent Eng against Hol/Ire/Sco. If it did happen it would have to be T20 as i'm not sure Sco or Hol would that competitive over 50 overs. Something similar could happen in Africa using a SAF a team but the worry would be how competive the other 3 sides would be even against SAF A, particularly given where Zim & Ken are presently. Re the other continents I just don't think the likes of PNG, Can or Us could mix it with even the a teams of WI, NZL or Aus. As for increasing the Asia cup, I think they tried that a few years ago & the smaller teams didn't do well so they left them out. If they were prepared to change the cup to T20 then it could well work, however I think they should stop short of having an asia cup in both formats!

Posted by JaseemAmeer on (April 10, 2014, 6:12 GMT)

@Mooses, I agree..they are not going to listen to us. But if a team in top 8 cannot come atleast second in a group of 5 in bottom 10, they deserve to be out. Do you think this format would work in ODI's too?? And what about continental cups like Asia cups atleast once in 4 years??(@christopherTalbot),Euro Cup(England,Ireland,Netherlands,Scotland), African cup(SA,Zimbabwe,Kenya,Namibia),Australia Cup(Australia,NZ,PNG,??),American Cup(WI,Canada,who else is there??),Asia Cup can include like 6 to 8 teams.

Posted by jordan_nofx on (April 10, 2014, 4:35 GMT)

what about three groups of four teams? Slight increase in teams playing but not as many onesided games.

i.e (Aus, Eng, SRI, Ire), (SA, Ind, Zim, Bang) and (NZ, Pak, WI, Ned)

Winner of each pool goes through to Semis automatically. Next 2 best teams on points/NRR play off for last semi final spot. Becuase only one team from each pool is guarenteed to go through, ever game is crucial. 22 games all up

Posted by   on (April 10, 2014, 3:03 GMT)

All the participating teams should play in the main tournament after they compete in qualifying round and then 10 teams in the super 10's should team should be autoqualifying and that will be good for cricket........ If such things happen, may be Ireland or Netherland will qualify and England can be opted out......... automatic selection is not what all the nations want except a few nations.

Posted by Mooses on (April 10, 2014, 0:38 GMT)

@JaseemAmeer, I was thinking exactly that just before I read your comment! Just taking the top 6 through to the second round would give the associates even more exposure to high class cricket, which could only be good for the game. Of course, it may not be so good for the big three, so it had no chance to get up. Imagine if England had to get through this time. On form, they may not have one a first stage match!

Posted by sysubrceq0 on (April 9, 2014, 20:53 GMT)

4 groups of 4 teams is rubbish, one bad game for any team mean out of the tournament. Continue the same format but allow 2 countries from each group from tier 2. So Nepal/ Afghanistan/ Ireland /Zimbambwe will get their chance to play with top 8 and any upset will change the final 4 teams and that will excite the tournament.

Posted by   on (April 9, 2014, 13:18 GMT)

4 groups of 4 teams each will not work. It will add to minnow vs Big matches and nothing else. And we will have 4 virtual quarter finals. So progression to next stage will depend upon just that one big match...

This format has worked well with only quality minnows gaining entry to main draws on base of merit. This format must stay there for quite a while. Don't mess with rules. See how football and tennis have same universal rules that are working and have made their game more homogenized

Posted by   on (April 9, 2014, 12:45 GMT)

It is also time to reward batsmen for their big hits. Not only we should have 4's and 6's but we should have 8's 10's and 12's. When a batsman hits the ball 90 - 99.9 metres, he should be awarded 8 runs. over 100metres... 10 runs and clean out of the ground ...12 runs.Batsmen should be punished for running in the line between wickets. First offence should not only have a warning but also a penalty of 6 runs. For the second offence there should be a penalty of 10 runs and the batsman be given out.Bowlers should be penalized for the delivery above the waist. First offence should not only be a no-ball but should also have a penalty of 6 runs. For the second offence , a no- ball and a penalty of 8 runs and for the third offence , a no-ball, a penalty of 10 runs and the bowler not allowed to bowl again.These innovations will make t20 cricket much more exciting.

Posted by   on (April 9, 2014, 12:31 GMT)

The beauty of the current World T20 format was that only two matches in the Super 10 were meaningless the rest had impact on Semi Final lineups and two mactches ended up to be virtual quarter finals

Posted by JaseemAmeer on (April 9, 2014, 11:33 GMT)

Actually, 2 groups of 4 each and super 10 stage did work, as it was something in line with the format of champions trophy, for both stages. Test teams got enough matches against each other without the threat of getting knocked out immediately. Same in the case of stage 1 too. This format also ensured the top 8 remained in the main draw. But what was missing was, the opportunity for the associates to play against stronger test nations. ICC could try to put 2 more teams from top 8 to stage 1, and give 4 teams promotion to super 10. Having 5 teams in stage 1 group, also increases the probability for 2 of the top 8, in stage 1, to qualify and associates a chance to test them better. Only problem, 8 matches/4 days extra. 4 groups of 4 teams, gives lesser opportunity for test nations to play each other and threat of elimination looms large as happened in 2007 world cup. 4 of 4 is not good for cricket, atleast now.

Posted by VivGilchrist on (April 9, 2014, 8:53 GMT)

Mickey Mouse cricket. Followed by more Mickey Mouse cricket as the focus goes to the IPL. Looking forward for the Tests to start, and the 50 over World Cup, which allow bowlers to bowl spells and batsmen to forge partnerships. T20 overload.

Posted by T20Fun on (April 9, 2014, 7:51 GMT)

This format of 2 groups of 5 each was a great success. Four groups of 4 causes more issues in terms of playing more matches (24 as opposed to 20) and thus increasing the duration of the tournament by at least 3 more days.

Also playing 4 consecutive matches seemed to give the Associates a greater chance of an upset as even if they have a bad game like Netherlands did against SL they can quickly recover and maybe still have a chance of making it to the KOs. If Netherlands had pulled off that upset against SA then all calculations were out of the window.

Posted by dganger on (April 9, 2014, 5:44 GMT)

No doubt this T20 WC hosted by Bangladesh was one of the most succesful tournament hosted by any nation. They have done a fantastic job and all Bangladeshi's should be proud of it. The passion, the emotions, the craziness, the Euphoria, sell out crowds, fantastic stadiums with worldclass facilities and last but not the least the T20 theme song "Char chokka hoi hoi" was a resounding success across cricket crazy nations. Kudos to Bangladesh for being such a fantastic host. Cheers From an Indian

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (April 9, 2014, 5:17 GMT)

Unbelievable nothing about Nepal

Posted by   on (April 9, 2014, 5:11 GMT)

@crick1965 Luck had nothing to do with SL winning, it was sheer talent and an outstanding performance. Explain which part of the match was decided by luck pls? And now all these Indians are asking for a best of 3 finals but had India won I wonder if there would've been any such talk from either Indians or Sri Lankans. It was really great to see many Indian fans giving Sri Lanka the credit they were due for being the better team right throughout the tournament but I guess there are always some sour grapes who can't deal with the fact that India are 2nd best. Don't forget SL beat India in the warm up game and had we been in Group B would've beaten India again.

Sri Lanka were challenged far more than India as we were in a group with which we hadn't played cricket recently. Group B featured India, Pakistan and Bangla all of whom we beat in the Asia Cup (Yes I know thats ODI but winning is winning) and we would've fared even better in that group. Pls give credit where its due.

Posted by   on (April 9, 2014, 4:07 GMT)

Agree with Nuwan Lorensuhewa. Sri Lanka's win was as comprehensive and comfortable as it gets. "Luck" had nothing to do with it.

Posted by   on (April 9, 2014, 2:15 GMT)

@crick1965 IPL runs basically for-ever which in my opinion is crazy. And wonder why you didn't come up with such suggestions when India won the 50/50 world cup in 2011. And it really evident the hatred in your comment with the word "Luck" on it. Still not willing to accept the defeat. Win and loose should be both accepted when you play for a world title. And it is only one match and you gotta prove your execution to the dot, which the Sri Lankan's did in the finals. Not expect the same old repeated luck of one batsman getting in to a flyer to save a team. And indeed he was lucky to be dropped when he was 19, wonder what total would they ve put up if it ended there.

Posted by regofpicton on (April 9, 2014, 0:09 GMT)

If 4 "minnows" had advanced, instead of 2, it could give 4 groups of 3. Each would have a minnow, who would then get 2 games against "real" teams. Two teams from each group could then progress to quarter finals. This has a total of 19 games after the qualifying rounds, and is a shorter tournament than the present one, which has 23 .

Posted by Masking_Tape on (April 8, 2014, 23:55 GMT)

Only reason you can call this tournament a success is because Bamgladeshi fans showed up and sold out every single game; even the associate ones. Only game that had fairly low attendance was Zim vs UAE. Also the fact that Bangladesh was put into the first round. Next one will be in India, where India won't have to play the first round. Expect this format to fail and be ready to see 1000s of empty seats games not involving India. Except the first WT20 in SA, stadiums atmosphere has been dull until this one. I'm yet to see an article single appreciating the effort put in by Bangladesh, when they are consistently put down because of their team. Congratulations people of Bangladesh, you guys did it well!

Posted by   on (April 8, 2014, 23:06 GMT)

4 group of 4 team would be best. Football did it for their World Cup from 1950 to 1970. It is the perfect way to expand the game but the associate nations do need for action against the top level nations.

England should host a 20Twenty tournament with the Netherlands, Ireland and Scotland to boost the game over here. Would be good, exciting and action packed

Posted by   on (April 8, 2014, 22:51 GMT)

The thing is .. LEAGUE is the best way to conclude a winner. Every team plays against each other. And at the end of the tournament, team with the most points is the deserving winner. Knockouts are harsh. A good team gets knocked out most of the time. And league format shows how a team needs to be consistent. It may be boring and long but I feel for a change League system should be introduced as it is in Football :)

Posted by priya65 on (April 8, 2014, 22:34 GMT)

curre nt format is good for the simple reason that it gave the associates some chance to showca their talents. If they were put in with the others that will be not the case. There was clear evidence tthat the associate sides were not very far behind. Even in the big league Netherlands did reasonably well. Apart from the heavy loss against SL . They did wonderfully well. since the first weel did not involve the big guns, people coulld see these guys play. Ans there was considerable amount of interest there as well. This format covered all the bases. If three of the semi finalists were selected on the very last day, It should be a good format alright. Cricket tinkers too much with the format, whereas football doesn't.

Posted by SirViv1973 on (April 8, 2014, 19:19 GMT)

I thought the old 4 X3 format was awful. Teams who lost their opening game were effectively eliminated after 1 match. This format was far better & gave the smaller nations more of the spotlight. In an ideal world we would have the 4x4 format with KO from Q/finals onward, however tv dictates that this format would not allow for enough marquee games. There may be some scope for a 4x4 followed by a S8 with 2x4, but I wouldn't want to see the competition stretched out longer than 3 wks. I would tinker the new format slightly by going to 15 teams. The 10 Full members would go straight through to a super 12 (2x6) along with the winner of an associate event held in advance. The associates then ranked 2 - 5 would play off in 1x4 with the winner taking the final spot in the S12. That would leave us with a 37 match competition played over 20 -21 days.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2014, 17:57 GMT)

Ireland and Afghanistan deserved a place in the next round. So they should let 4 teams qualify. T20 is the ideal medium to let minnows play ans spread cricket. Maybe a group of 4 or an IPL-like format will be good to give another chance to good teams.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2014, 17:31 GMT)

Why bother changing? The format in 2014 essentially meant that every game, even against the associates, had a meaning and could not be taken lightly. Why can't the same format work in the future?

Posted by cric1965 on (April 8, 2014, 17:13 GMT)

Format should be same but to qualify final need to follow IPL format. If 1st and 2nd team has one more chance to qualify for finals in IPL. Also final should be best of three. Then, can select the genuine champion rather than luck.

Posted by JustIPL on (April 8, 2014, 17:10 GMT)

There will be more meaningless matches among very strong and very weak teams. It will be very much like the 50 over worldcup where there are a lot of meaningless matches. It will require less matches to reach semi final than the current format the current case of India being in semis for so long will not be possible. The only good thing for stronger teams will be to have some easy matches to get warmed up. I think the current format was a good one, less associates, couple of quarter finals and then the cracker of semis and final. No need to change the format please. Associate qualifiers are may be not required and teams from an ICC qualifying tournament are good enough to go through. No need to put BD in qualifiers.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2014, 16:34 GMT)

how about a group of 4 and then the super eights instead of quarterfinals...2 groups can have their matches played on the same day at different venues..and it won't take more than 3 weeks either!

Posted by upathy on (April 8, 2014, 15:29 GMT)

Having four groups eliminates the chance of more games between top 8 teams. Which isn't a very good idea in my opinion. Watching the top 8 or 10 battling it out is essentially what most people wanted to see at a world cup level.

In a 4 Groups scenario you will end up seeing only 2 big games in each group the top teams and the probability of 4 top teams getting eliminated in the Quarters is not what you want. It wouldn't fly well in my opinion.

I certainly think 2014 T20 format is the best way to go as associate round was equally exciting as the big 10 round. Maybe add a few tweaks such as adding one or two wildcard teams just as in NFL wouldn't be a bad idea but 4 groups will be a disaster.

Maybe 3 groups with 2 wildcards may do the trick!

Posted by Ramansilva on (April 8, 2014, 15:22 GMT)

I also think 4 groups of 4 teams playing in a classifying round is a good idea. The groups can be based on the rank of each team during a specified period before the games. After the classification, the top 8 teams can play for the cup and bottom 8 teams can play for a plate as in Rugby. This set-up will enable the associate teams to play for something. Otherwise they are there only to fill numbers.

Posted by Devadatta_Rajadhyaksha on (April 8, 2014, 15:19 GMT)

I would actually love to have Phase I of 3 groups of 5 each. Top two from each group qualify for QF, plus two (out of three) best no-3 also qualify (a bit like soccer world cup when 24 teams participated). Advantages vis-a-vis 4 groups of 4 are: (I) the second-ranked team gets one more chance if they get beaten by the third-ranked team. (II) More competition in associates to qualify, as one less spot. (III) Very easy to extend to 18 teams in future without changing the basic format.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2014, 14:55 GMT)

We live in a restless world. Always, CHANGE looks better. I can only repeat what I often tell my son in law, when he is unhappy with the new arrangement of furniture in the living room, by his better half. "Let her do it; after half a dozen changes, we will be back to square one!"

Posted by py0alb on (April 8, 2014, 14:53 GMT)

It should be 32 teams over 4 weeks. BUT play it once every 4 years, make it a really special event, the absolute pinnacle of world cricket.

The ODI world cup tends to be more one sided, that should be kept as 12 teams. It should also only be once every 4 years.

Posted by Naked_Cricket on (April 8, 2014, 14:37 GMT)

By witnessing 2012 and 14 WC's i could say 2012 is little bit ahead from this one.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2014, 13:59 GMT)

I would love the four groups and knockout thereafter; the games will all be exciting as T20 seems to always be. With China, the USA and others getting ready to join the fray, it will be great to see what the 2016 event serves up!

Posted by Ozcricketwriter on (April 8, 2014, 13:56 GMT)

I liked this way of doing things. Having the top 8 plus 2 qualifying out of the other 8. It is a great model and made things very exciting. This is the model they should use in the ODI World Cup too.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2014, 13:45 GMT)

Really enjoyed this WorldT20, with the performances of the likes of Nepal, Ireland (until the Dutch onslaught) and Holland being my highlights. 4 groups of 4 has to be the way to go. Also keep it to every 2 years, the plans to go 4 yearly from 2016 need to be rethought.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2014, 13:44 GMT)

4 groups of 4 teams first round followed by 2 group super eight round which a team gets 2 games while carrying all 3 first round games should be a much better format.also world t20 should be held once in 2 yrs & priority must give to the odi world cup.

Posted by Arun_Mathew on (April 8, 2014, 13:35 GMT)

four groups of four make tournament less exciting.. it means in a group,, only two top teams and two associates will be there, so the matches will be less competitive. Super 10 is good as it makes all matches interesting and to qualify, you have to be play good cricket. there will be more closely fought matches between top teams and the competitive nature of the tournament will be there.

Posted by akshay_heble on (April 8, 2014, 13:23 GMT)

The 4 group of 4 is more ideal in my view.once the tournament is played every 4 years, the format of the 2007 world cup in west indies can be used where there was group stage followed by a super 8 stage. This format is a very comprehensive one as the minnows get to play the big guns and give them a run for their money as well as each team gets to play each and every team in the super 8 stage. But unfortunately ICC is too scared to use this format because given how in T20 there is scope for upsets and if any big team especially India misses out in the group stage itself like how it happened in the 2007 WC, then the commercial value of the tournament goes for a toss. The present tournament is not bad either but it is a format that protects the major teams by directly entering them in the super 10. I feel the minnows should get a chance to play the big teams to gain exposure. Also i feel in future,the hosts should gain direct entry and not go through a qualifying process.

Posted by Batmanian on (April 8, 2014, 13:19 GMT)

Another option would be seeds 1-8 divided alternately into two groups of four, with the top three in each group qualifying for quarters. Seeds 9-16 alternately in another two groups with the single top team from each in the quarters. It would be kind of like the two stages we've just seen, but simultaneous.

The two to make it through from the bottom half would have their eye in well; for the top half, if you can't finish above the bottom of a group of four, you don't deserve the quarters.

The great thing about T20 is the wonderful pressure come the final; a brilliant India outfit cracked, and a craftier SL shone. Wonderful entertainment.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2014, 13:13 GMT)

I totally agree. The ICC must take risks now. This is the perfect time for the ICC to take such as step. The next WT20 is happening in India in 2016. There are plenty of stadiums that fit the criteria for an ICC event. About 29,000 people had turned up for a New Zealand v Sri Lanka game in Mumbai (a neutral venue for that match) during the 2011 Cricket World Cup. So, people should turn up. Such a step would upset the broadcaster, but it could be worth it. The above mentioned format was used during the 2007 Cricket World Cup in the West Indies and teams such as Ireland and Bangladesh managed to defeat Pakistan and India and sneak through to the Super 8. This is exactly what cricket needs for its growth. Thanks for writing this and bringing it to the notice of fans, ICC and the various cricket associations who will benefit from such a "4 teams in 4 groups" format.

Posted by android_user on (April 8, 2014, 12:49 GMT)

so will the Netherlands now at least be given bilateral tours with Bangladesh and Ireland. it doesn make sense for this not to happen

Posted by android_user on (April 8, 2014, 12:22 GMT)

Netherlands has a well balance team they can beat any they have to play with big teams in regular basis

Posted by VicPride on (April 8, 2014, 10:51 GMT)

Interesting final point. I think that if I were watching on TV, I would have as much interest in a team of unknowns competing against a world power as I would for any other match. Seeing teams like Hong Kong and Nepal would be fantastic with the general public around the world able to see their development. It could possibly make people more interested as opposed to seeing players from the 'big' countries whom they have limited knowledge of anyway.

Posted by LALITHKURUWITA on (April 8, 2014, 10:49 GMT)

I like to see 4 teams qualifying to play with top 8 teams in the next T20 WC. In this WC only Dutch had the opportunity to play with big boys but they played very well, nearly beat SA and compete with Black Caps and smashed Poms. If another 1 or 2 associate get this opportunity to play it is win for cricket expansion.

Posted by DRS_Flawed_NeedsImprovement on (April 8, 2014, 3:00 GMT)

two tier system should be created for test cricket too. Put top 6 associates along with zim and bangladesh. Let them play each other like tier 1 top 8 team.

Posted by Kausthub on (April 8, 2014, 2:40 GMT)

It would be great if Netherlands have won the match against the mighty South Africa. Winning with England might not be so great as they have lost a series of matches continuously earlier (However, may be more great as they have defeated the champions at group stage).

Posted by   on (April 8, 2014, 1:59 GMT)

I've said it before, but competitions like this could learn a lot from Rugby 7s. If it were to increase to four groups of four (as I agree it should), then while the top eight teams progress to the major competition, the remaining eight could well stage a knockout competition of their own. There would be evenly matched games galore, and very little bloating.

Posted by Gizza on (April 8, 2014, 1:41 GMT)

The two-tiered format was indeed a good one. It could still do with some tweaking but the general gist of it was great. It gives the best Associates/weaker Test sides a chance to compete against the established nations. Perhaps a similar format can be used in the 50 over ODI World Cuip too except maybe put everyone in one group in the second stage? Not everyone will agree but I think it's worth a try eventually.

Posted by inswing on (April 7, 2014, 19:46 GMT)

The current set up is perfect. The associates get to play, get the exposure with teams of similar strength, and if they are good, get to play with the big boys. A knockout from QFs would be a predictable disaster.

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India v Sri Lanka at Dhaka - Apr 6, 2014
Sri Lanka won by 6 wickets (with 13 balls remaining)
India v South Africa at Dhaka - Apr 4, 2014
India won by 6 wickets (with 5 balls remaining)
Sri Lanka v West Indies at Dhaka - Apr 3, 2014
Sri Lanka won by 27 runs (D/L method)
Pakistan v West Indies at Dhaka - Apr 1, 2014
West Indies won by 84 runs
Bangladesh v Australia at Dhaka - Apr 1, 2014
Australia won by 7 wickets (with 15 balls remaining)
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