International Cricket Council (ICC) has released the revised format for the next world cup. Announcing this, ICC CEO David Richardson informed reporters that the new format has been designed to promote spectator interest.
Giving the background, the Chief Executive of ICC said: We were quite perturbed by the thin crowds in the match between England and West Indies. Even Rahul Gandhi managed to draw bigger crowds for his election rallies.
On the other hand, when India is playing, even if it is with United Arab Emirates or Afghanistan, the contest attracts a crowd as huge as a free wifi pack distribution center of Delhi would. The frenzied spectators, jingoist fans, cricket lovers, betters and fixers, all are there, present in their full glory.
Since we cannot permit the outdated and medieval ideas of sportsmanship, integrity and fairness to hurt the game of cricket and hence the new format.
In the new scheme of things for the next world cup:
- India would play a match against all other teams in the contest.
- Other teams would not play against each other.
- India would play Pakistan, every Sunday, till the end of the tournament.
- Other teams would be given points based on their comparative performance against India. Pakistan would be given points based on their best performance out of their matches against India.
- After the league phase one semi-finalist team would be chosen based on its respective performances against India.
- Pakistan would be the second semi-finalist.
- Both semi-finalists would play a game against India and their comparative performance would be deciding factor to take them to the final with India.
- India would win the finals.
We are sure that this format would go a long way in making Cricket a bigger, better and global game with enhanced public participation. Importantly, ICC would also be able to partake in the ‘Make In India’ initiative.
There are some other changes suggested by member countries and they are under active consideration. These are:
- All the matches should be scheduled to start at 3 PM Indian Standard Time, wherever they are played.
- Each team should get an opportunity to identify one ‘most talented batsmen’ who would be given upto 3 chances to get out. A committee headed by Rohit Sharma has been tasked to look into this suggestion.
- One bounce catch out rule should be applicable for Pakistan fielders, Umar Akmal to head the committee to look into this. One important task before the committee is to decide whether players can use both hands or the traditional ‘one tip one hand’ concept would be used.
- A new concept of ‘No choke overs’ has been suggested. This should be applicable to last twenty overs of second innings and in this phase only one batsman can be given out in any over. An attempt by a bowler to take a second wicket should be deemed to be a no ball. A consultative committee headed by A B De Villiers would look into the suggestion.