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Sight Screen

Thursday, June 02, 2005

More on the World Cup

Arjun Swarup, whose blog is an eclectic mix of cricket and movies and well worth your while, has a detailed take on my earlier post (The More The Merrier? Not!), about the ICC Trophy and the five teams that will progress to the World Cup proper.
To come back to the point of weak teams, if the WC has to have 12 teams or 16, then it would make more sense to group all weak/new sides into a group, and have them all play each other, and let the top 1 or 2 progress to the next stage, where they can play against the more established sides.Thus, in this case, the better weak sides (like Kenya and Zimbabwe) would probably progress to play against Aus, SA, Ind, Pak, while the rest of them would have gained from the exposure of playing in the premier tournament, and yet not been subjected to thrashings in one-sided contests.The reason why I am saying this is because some sort of international stage recognition is needed, for the game to gain in popularity, and playing in the WC achieves that.

Fair enough -- but if that sort of recognition is the real point, and we agree that (1) the weaker nations deserve a grander exposure and (2) that too many of them in the WC dilutes interest, would the solution not be to run the ICC Trophy as a curtain-raiser to the WC, say in the month before the competition proper?
The impending WC thus provides a reason for fans to take interest in the ICC Trophy games; the winner and runner-up progress to the world stage in one seamless move, and everyone is happy. No?

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