It's just a few days left when the biggest fest in 4 years of Cricket comes alive. Yes, it's none other than Cricket World Cup 2015 (Australia - New Zealand). You may be quite excited about and you may have your reason for being so. But let me give you a break here. There's gonna be no excitement at all before March 18. Let's have a Look, why?
There are 2 pools, Pool A and Pool B. Pool A has Australia, England, Sri Lanka, New Zealand, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Scotland and Pool B, we have South Africa, India, Pakistan, West Indies, Zimbabwe, Ireland and UAE. The group seams to be highly unfair for little tanks.
For obvious reasons, the tournament has been designed in such a way that the Big Guns may not get thrashed out early in the group stage of the competition as it was in the case of 2007 World Cup which highlighted the weakest face of India and Pakistan.
Just for an example, let's start with our very own India. India is going to play 6 league games. Even if they lose all 3 big matches against South Africa, Pakistan and West Indies but you just take them so getting so low. They can still be safe enough to qualify for quarter finals by edging past against the likes of Zimbabwe, Ireland and UAE which is pretty much obvious. The story is just the same for any other team in the group or for the teams in other group.
You might now be thinking that I've killed out all of your excitement and would be cursing like hell but WAIT! There is still a reason for the teams to perform their best to proceed ahead.
As per the rules dictated by ICC for World Cup 2015, "If a quarter final match is tied, abandoned or the game ends with no result, the team who finished at a relative higher spot in the Pool stage would have the advantage and shall proceed to the semi final". The same goes for semi final games, "If a semi final match is tied, abandoned or the game ends with no result, the team who finished at a relative higher spot in the Pool stage would have the advantage and shall proceed to the final."
Super Six. Yes! That was the sole reason that made competition extra exciting. The Super Six allowed on 3 teams from each group to proceed further leaving two of the big guns among to pack their bags. But Quarter finals now being brought into the scene instead of Super Six, all of best 8 teams of cricketing world would be seen knock out stage.
You might not be aware about that unfair advantage that the team has who plays the last game league game in their group or who plays the very last game of group stage. This is because not all the teams are playing their last league game on the same day.
Taking the example from Pool B, Pakistan will be playing the last pool match in their pool against Ireland. Now when all the other teams have played their part, Pakistan would know which team will be facing whom ahead in quarters but they can still manipulate the chances of facing a preferred opponent by manipulating their net run rate or even the result of that game.
Don't know whether the idea of this unfair advantage of to the team playing their last league game crossed the minds to match scheduling committee or not but they must learn from the formats of other sports.
Football has been cautious that no team gets such an unfair advantage and thereby schedules the league games in World Cups or any other major tournament in such a way that all the teams participating in the contest have to play their last league game on the very same day.
Despite of all the not so exciting reasons, it would be great to watch the World Cup and we would definitely be supporting out teams. And so is here my best wishes with team India.