Opinion: World Cup format win, Champions Trophy exit loss

Fielder throws cricket ball in

Jonhenry Wilson looks at format changes, outgoing tournaments and one of South Africa's finest talents coming of age in the IPL this week's opinion piece. 


World Cup format for the win

Sound and questionable choices from the trusted decision makers within the International Cricket Council this week, as the World Cup returns to a preferred format and the Champions Trophy is replaced by another World Twenty20.

While the absence of Scotland and other nations from a world tournament flies in the face of inclusivity, the fact that each team will have to play each other at least once to make it to the semi-finals is a welcome return to yesteryear's design.

The 1992 World Cup was more than two decades ago, but stands out as one of the most memorable, largely due to its format, which will thankfully grace the 2019 tournament. No more groups, no more quarter-finals - just straight-up, last-chance elimination for the under-performers and immediate reward for the stronger team on the day. No mess, no fuss - proper value.

Farewell, Champions Trophy

Another blow to ODI cricket, meanwhile, with the scrapping of the Champions Trophy - and the introduction of a bi-annual World Twenty20. The 2009 Champions Trophy lacked impact and was marred by West Indian player strikes, yes, but the competitive and entertaining 2013 edition all but insisted the tournament stick around.

Unfortunately, the ICC are going in a different direction - and feel the way to spread the game is via its shortest format. This has been coupled with the extension of Twenty20 International status to all 100-plus member countries.

That's a tough call for countries like Hong Kong and Oman, who fought for months on end to gain T20I recognition, only for all other rivals to simply be handed it a couple of weeks later.

Soon enough, statistics-wise, a century scored or five-wicket haul taken in a clash between, say, Botswana and Tanzania or Germany and France, will be as valid and record-worthy as those gathered in South Africa versus England or Australia versus New Zealand matches.

To think that some lesser-known Canadian or Chinese cricketer could be ranked right up there alongside Chris Gayle and AB de Villiers, etc, is both scary and exciting.

De Villiers v de Kock

Speaking of de Villiers, his absence from the Royal Challengers Bangalore outfit in the ongoing Indian Premier League due to temporary illness is a blessing in disguise for South African cricket. It insists that Quinton de Kock step out of de Villiers' shadow and truly showcases Proteas talent in the IPL. It can only be good for the player and the competition.

The views expressed above are solely those of the author in his private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of Hollywoodbets.

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Written by Jonhenry Wilson for Hollywoodbets

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