Part 1/3 – The Cup That Matters
Five days including today. Then, it is the ICC Cricket World Cup! 1.1 billion people have been waiting for this for over an year now. This will be the 10th Cricket World Cup and will be hosted by three South Asian countries, India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. These are my views on the 2011 Cricket World Cup. I had put off writing this until today because I wanted to see the warm-up game between India and Australia. A good game I must say. However, it was one that both teams played with utmost caution. Guess that’s how warm-up games are. This is first of the three post series on the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup.
First, the format. This time around, it’s more or less similar to the 1996 World Cup format. The difference is that there were only 12 teams in 1996 and its 14 this time. The first round of the tournament will be a round robin in which the 14 teams are divided into 2 groups of 7 teams each. The 7 teams play each other once with the top 4 from each group qualifying for the quarterfinals. This means that each team will play a minimum of 6 matches. My top 4 are Australia, India, South Africa, and Sri Lanka. With England and Pakistan close behind them.
The Opening Ceremony
The Opening ceremony will be held in the Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka, Bangladesh on February 17th. Two days prior to the first match on 19th between India and Bangladesh.
The Prize Money
The 2011 Cricket World Cup winning team would be taking home a prize money of US$ 3 million and US$ 1.5 million for runner-up, with the International Cricket Council deciding to double the total allocation for the coveted tournament to US$ 10 million. The total prize money for teams finishing 1 – 8 is whooping US$ 7.48 million.
The ICC Cricket World Cup Trophy is a running trophy, presented to the champions. It has been presented since 1999. That means no other team has been able to attain it apart from Australia, who have won it thrice in a row now. It was designed by Garrard & Co. The original is kept at the ICC headquarters, Dubai. The winning team is given a replica. The only difference between the two is that the original has the names of all the previous winners inscribed on it.
The most important aspect from a player’s or team’s point of view is the pride. Being a part of the World Cup winning team or even the squad is a dream come true for any cricketer. Its the culmination of their hard work. The money is just an added bonus. This time around it will be good tournament with a lot of contenders for the trophy. The last two editions have been pretty much one-sided. The Aussies brushed aside any opposition that came their way with utmost ease. This time around Australia have to really play well to win it a record fourth time. I believe we are in for an amazing and exciting world cup. The stage is set for the cup that matters.