A real worldwide World Cup

Ger Siggins puts a proposal to revolutionise the 50 over event

THERE was never really a snowball's chance in hell of ICC reversing their decision on a ten-team World Cup.

Some of the stated reasons are reasonable, others convenient, more still falsehoods.

But the chief motivations of those who decided were:

(1) The need to give India as many games as possible

(2) The need to avoid fixtures clashing in broadcasters schedules

(3) The need to get it over as soon as possible

The talk about competitiveness was a nonsense, as the Associate sides took part in more competitive games per head than the Full Members in 2015.

Attendances and empty stadia don't really matter to organisers -- otherwise they wouldn't have had Ireland v UAE rattling around in the Gabba.

TV advertising numbers matter, and while Ireland, Scotland, Afghanistan and UAE can't deliver many, there's scope in the US and Canada down the road, and of course the Holy Grail of China.

So how do you organise a credible, quick World Cup while keeping your commercial imperatives foremost in mind.

Why not stage it in TWO centres, half a world apart.

Nobody said a competition has to be staged in the same country - or even the same region.

This also comes with the added advantage of ensuring the three Super Full Members get to stage almost everything.

  • 14 teams, divided in two groups of seven, playing each other once (as in 2015).
  • The competition will be held in September, with Pool A staged in England, and Pool B in Australia.
  • With the games in widely different time zones, broadcasters don't need to worry about games clashing, and can easily stage two games a day, from 1045-1830BST and 0215BST-1000BST.
  • The 21 games in each pool can easily be run off in, say, 25 days (especially if the travelling is kept to a minimum which is certainly possible in England), with the top four in each pool then travelling to India for the knock-out stages.

Organise Phase 1 to finish on a Sunday, allow the midweek days for travel and the quarter-finals can be staged over the following weekend, Friday-Monday. With semi-finals the next Weds/Thurs, the final can be on the Sunday, day 40 of the tournament - or nine days fewer than the current plan.

To ensure variety, the following tournament pools could be held in West Indies and India, perhaps starting in April, with the knock-out stages in England in early June with a final at Lord's.

There's no point any more issuing demands that ICC admits 16 or 20 teams and redraws its whole broadcasting contracts and strategy.

This proposal addresses the needs of broadcasters and organisers and would produce a fast-moving, competition which will allow for continued Associate involvement and give a large number of games for the top sides while bringing the event to three centres of the game.