The hosts of the 2011 World Cup will enjoy home advantage during the quarter-final and semi-final stage, the ICC has confirmed. Sri Lanka, India and Bangladesh will play at home if they reach the quarter-finals, the venues for which are Mirpur (staging the first and the third game), Ahmedabad (second) and Colombo (fourth), as well as the semis. However, while the draw for the quarter-final in terms of who plays whom from each group has been decided - A1 v B4, A2 v B3, A3 v B2 and A4 v B1 - the sequence of these games will only be revealed at the end of the Group stage once the final positions of the concerned teams has been determined.
For the semi-finals, to be held in Colombo and Mohali, will involve the winners of A1 v B4 playing the winners of A3 v B2, and the winners of the A2 v B3 quarter final versus the winners of the A4 v B1 match.
"I can confirm that the three host countries will play the knock-out rounds on their own grounds," Haroon Lorgat, the ICC chief executive, told reporters on the eve of the opening game of the tournament.
India are top of the pecking order in terms of home advantage. An ICC spokesperson said, "The seeding is done prior to the event and has nothing to do with where they finish in the group. Therefore, India takes precedence over Sri Lanka while Sri Lanka takes precedence over Bangladesh."
As the immediate permutations stand, assuming all three hosts qualify for the last eight, it is possible that Sri Lanka from Group A could meet either India or Bangladesh in the quarter-final. In case they are drawn to meet India, the quarter-final will be held in Ahmedabad. In case their opponent is Bangladesh, the quarter-final will be held in Colombo. Should they qualify for the last eight, Bangladesh's best chance of playing one of the two quarter-finals scheduled for Mirpur, is to be drawn against any Group A team other than Sri Lanka. If India make it to the semi-finals, it will play in Mohali even if its opponent is Sri Lanka, who will have to forfeit its March 29 semi-final in Colombo.
Sharad Pawar, the ICC president, is the chairman of the 2011 World Cup's organising committee, while Ratnakar Shetty, the BCCI's chief administrative officer, is the tournament director. The 43-day event comprises 49 games spread over three countries and 13 venues and will be a week shorter than the 2007 edition in the West Indies.
The ten Full Member countries and four Associates have been divided into two groups of seven each, with the top four from each group qualifying for the quarter-finals. Group A includes Australia, Pakistan, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, Canada and Kenya. Group B comprises India, South Africa, England, West Indies, Bangladesh, Ireland and the Netherlands.