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After the scandal-hit CommonWealth Games and the IPL mess, it comes as a breath of fresh air that the ICC has given a thumbs-up to the preparations for the 2011 World Cup to be held in Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka.
This is the third time the World Cup is being hosted on the sub-continent; the previous two World Cups here were in 1987 and 1996.
Pakistan, unfortunately, will not be party to the event as originally envisaged. Events and security concerns have conspired to keep the troubled nation on the fringes of international cricket. The spot-fixing scandal and the more recent Haider asylum imbroglio have not strengthened their position.
The 43 day 49 match tournament will have India hosting a majority of the matches — 29 to India,eight to Bangladesh and 12 to Sri Lanka.
The format of the tournament has been altered this time around. There will be just 14 teams, a reduction from the previous 16.
The league phase will consist of two groups; all teams in a group will play each other once. The top four teams from each group qualify for the knockout phase.
Australia, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Canada and Kenya form Group A.
Group B consists of India ,Bangladesh, England, South Africa, West Indies, Ireland and the Netherlands.
This ensures that teams that are slow starters have enough time to recover from a couple of early bad matches.
Recall that India and Pakistan did not make the Super 8 stage at the last World Cup.
Quote of the day:
The world only goes round by misunderstanding. – Charles Baudelaire