Ten teams for next 50-over Cricket World Cup, 16 for Twenty20

By Sirshendu Panth, IANS
Friday, February 18, 2011

DHAKA - The next edition of the 50-over World Cup will have only ten teams instead of 14 at present to improve the competitiveness, and for the Twenty20 World Cup the number will go up from 12 to 16.

Announcing the changes, the International Cricket Council (ICC) chief executive Haroon Lorgat said hosts India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh will play their matches at home once they reach the knock-out stage in this World Cup.

“In future, the lower-ranked sides won’t be a part of the 50-over World Cup as this format demands more skills from the players. We have decided to reduce the number of teams to 10 from the present 14 to increase competitiveness. However, the world Twenty20 will have 16 teams, up from 12,” said Lorgat.

The South African said the 20-over game provides the right format to spread the game worldwide while the 50-over format involves a greater degree of skills and hence is more suited to the front ranking sides.

The governing body decided on cutting down the teams last year.

As part of an endeavour to keep alive the interest in the 50-over format in the wake of the challenge posed by the Twenty20 version, host countries playing the knock-out stage would get to play all their games at home in this World Cup, the ICC chief executive said.

Lorgat declared that pre-tournament rankings would determine the venue if two hosts clash with each other.

“The three host nations India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh will meet their opponents on home grounds from the knock-out stage,” he said.

Following the latest ICC decision, the original schedule could go topsy-turvy.

As per the earlier decision, two of the quarterfinal clashes were slated to be staged in Dhaka, and one each in Ahmedabad and Colombo — and the venuues were to be decided according to the teams’ positions after the league stage.

However, now Sri Lanka will play their quarterfinal in Colombo, Bangladesh in Dhaka and India in Ahmedabad.

If India take the second spot in Group B, they clash with the third placed team in Group A.

However, in case India finish among the top four in their group without taking the third position, then also they travel to Ahmedabad.

Lorgat said the host nation rule will prevail in the case of both the semi-final outings at Colombo and Mohali. However, the final would be an exception, and even if Bangladesh or Sri Lanka make the cut they would have to travel to Mumbai for the April 2 Cup final.

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