Kenya made a disastrous beginning to their World Cup campaign after being handed a ten-wicket walloping by New Zealand in Chennai © Getty Images

 

By Dhananjay Devasper

 

The first three games have given us a stark picture of what’s going to unfold in the World Cup. The minnows are going to be hopelessly plundered and the only team that looks like putting up a fight seems to be Bangladesh. Even in the case of Bangladesh there is an element of doubt when it comes to playing bowling attacks which are better than India.

 

It also brings about a realization, that this World Cup is flawed in terms of programming and scheduling, especially when you have teams playing minnows most of the time. Seriously, who wants to have a long tournament filled with non-performers.

 

The gap between the established teams and the minnows is so wide that the ICC needs to consider whether we need to include them in the first place. The World Cup’s in danger of being reduced to one boring affair.

 

The new format also has made planning for the quarter-finals easy (if you’re not too picky about where you stand among the top 4 in your group). Beat the minnows and get in. If you win a match against an opponent slated to be in the top 4, terrific! You now have a chance to become Team A3/B3. Else, all one need to do now, is to “mentally prepare” yourself to play a tough team in the quarters. Which teams already have, keeping this tournament in mind.

 

So what could the organizers have done better to make the tournament more interesting and the league games count. Well, for one, in a format like this, don’t have the quarter-finals. The top 4 teams in each group qualify for the semi-finals. That, for one, will make the league stages extremely interesting, and every game count.

 

Secondly, decide whether any of the minnows are worth including in the World Cup. If you don’t make the cut, go back to the drawing board. A tournament of this magnitude has no place for teams that don’t even put up a fight.

 

And finally, if you do have to appease everyone, and still include them no matter what, please have two matches a day if they involve the minnows, even if it is a weekday, so that we get to see our favourite teams sooner.

 

It’s now up to the minnows to Save the World Cup and us from boredom! For the sake of cricket, I hope they do…

 

Stay tuned…

 

(Dhananjay Devasper is an “IT guy” by profession and a sports fanatic at heart. He has an unbridled passion for sports and Indian achievements in sport. Extremely opinionated, he attempts offering perspectives around sports which are simple to understand and easy to relate with)