Saturday, 6 June 2009

Cactus time... ICC tournament structures

England lost to the Netherlands. Can't be arse to comment on that, as it's too interesting. Instead I was thinking about things which are dryer than a moisture lacking entity in an environment generally known for it's lack of water content.

This loss could cause a problem for the ICC, just like it did in the ODI World Cup when Ireland went through against all odds and ended up playing 7 more matches than they should. If England don't go through that will then be 7 matches with lower viewing figures, 7 matches with lower gate takings, 7 "worse" matches.

I can see the appeal of the league formats, from a cynical and genuine perspective, more matches, more money, more team exposure etc. But that leaves the problem of an exciting end. The IPL format seems odd with a big long hard fought league to ditch half the teams and then just 3 matches to sort out the top 4... weird, and unattractive.

Here in the World T20 this stupid "Super 8" thing is such a bad idea for the same reasons. In addition, going from 12 to 8 with just two matches per side clearly shows that those 4 getting the chop are not meant to make it in the first place. They are supposed to be token gestures, every one of them. If you look at how many matches are played by each level of progression we get:

4 teams play twice
4 teams play 9 times
2 teams play 10 times
2 teams play 11 times

Total matches - 86

Seems odd. The whole thing looks ugly and unbalanced. how about this...

Firstly, 16 teams instead of 12, and in that first group there are more games, meaning that the two teams going through from each group have more right to go through, so less shocks in theory.

Secondly any shocks that do happen are (probably) only going to last 3 more matches, not 7. After that round, you'd be really quite confident that normality should of been restored, and if not, then whoever it is clearly deserves to be there after all.

Thirdly there is a good balance between knock out and round robin leagues - it's a triangle. Everyone loves triangles accordingly to Dairylea.

Tallying up matches again:

8 teams play 3 matches
4 teams play 6 matches
2 teams play 9 matches
2 teams play 10 matches

Total matches - 86. You could not make this stuff up! Well you could, as I did the maths in my head and i'm tired... was I right?

I reckon this looks much much nicer. Less matches per team at most stages, but for the better I think. How many matches in any of these groups is going to be pointless for a team that progresses to the next round? Depends on numerous things really, but ultimately there would be less than the super 8 matches for sure.

I reckon this is fair. Does anyone else?


Q said...

For sure!

I reckon anyone can come up with better formats than those ICC bitches.

And here u have one of the best ones that would work.

I also think that there's a case to have more associate nations in the T20 World Cup as its a format that allows them to compete with the best.

In turn, they should look to shorten the ODI WC with 8-10 teams at the most.

Spigot said...

I do think it's nice to have different tournaments in different formats, the current T20 format is an exact copy of the ODI world cup... Nice to have one knock-out, one league or such like. My suggestion is a combination of both though, so ruins my point entirely.

You'd never get away with only 8 teams, who gets the chop... Windies or Bangladesh? Or England? Indeed isn't that their right as Test status countries or something? 10 would bring back in an odd outsider... You could do it in 3's all the way and have 9 teams. That could work. 3 groups of 3 to 2 groups of three to 1 final 3 to a final. Winner plays 7 matches...

Spigot said...

And if you think that's dull, just wait until I bother to tell the world how to replace the Future Tours program...

Q said...

Nope its not an exact copy of the ODI WC, cos in that the Super 8 stage involved teams playing against 7 other teams.. here the Super 8s are just groups of 4 and teams play another 3 teams.

10 teams for the ODI WC - only the test playing countries + Zimbabwe or the best qualifier.

T20 WC has scope for expansion, ODI WC doesn't.

And i don't think its dull.

I'm telling u, the world is better at organinizing the format / schedule of a tournament / FTP than the ICC.

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