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Host countries agree on 2011 World Cup format

India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh have reached a consensus on the format for the 2011 World Cup which they will host jointly.

cricket Updated: Dec 11, 2007 15:28 IST

India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh have reached a consensus on the format for the 2011 World Cup which they will host jointly.

The agreed format has 14 teams competing in a shorter time frame.

"Unlike, the super six stage in 2003 World Cup, we have proposed that 14 teams be divided into two groups and each country gets to play minimum of six matches in their group," Shafqat Naghmi, PCB's Chief Operating officer told PTI today.

"Eight teams than qualify from these groups directly into the quarter-final knockout stage followed by the semifinals and final," he said.

Naghmi said the new format had the backing of the three other host countries.

"It will make the tournament more interesting and sharp and ensure every team gets a fair chance to qualify for the knockout stage," he said, adding the final decision now rests with the ICC Executive Board.

The representatives of the four boards have deliberated upon seven proposed formats before arriving at a consensus, Naghmi said.

"Basically, the other three countries have asked Pakistan to take the lead and discuss the format with the International Cricket Council,"

"We will be sending a letter to the ICC outlining the proposed format today," he said.

Pakistan and India were the worst sufferers in the 16-team format used in the 2007 World Cup in the West Indies being knockout in the first round after just one bad match each.

The critics also hit out at the ICC for the prolonged duration of the last World Cup which eventually led to thin attendance at some matches and some boring encounters, a fact accepted by the ICC.

The four hosts also discussed having a common visa for the World Cup that would be sorted out in due course of time with the respective governments, said Naghmi.