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Sunday, 6 March 2011





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Astrologer predict's Lankan victory, but Fletcher scotches claim

WORLD CUP CRICKET: According to a local astrologer in Central Province of Sri Lanka - we are most lucky to witness a repeat version of the 1st Semi-Final in 1996 Wills World Cup - Predicts a strong star for Sri Lanka in the 2011 Cricket World Cup. But former England coach Duncan Fletcher says in an interview that there are no favourites for the 2011 Cricket World Cup. So let us now sit back and watch the clash of the Big Titans.

The 2011 ICC World Cup Cricket in the 10th competition has changed over the course of its history. The first four competitions was played by eight teams, which was divided into two groups of four. The competition comprised two stages, A) Group stage, B) Knock-out stage. The four teams in each group played each other in the round-robin, with the top two teams in each group progressing to the semi-finals. The winners of the semi-finals played against each other in the final.

In 1992, with the return of South Africa after the ending of the apartheid boycott, nine teams played each other once in the group phase, and the top four teams progressed to the semi- finals. The tournament was further expanded in 1996, with two groups of six teams. The top four teams from each group progressed to quarter-finals and semi-finals.

In 1999 and 2003 a new format was used. The teams were split into two pools, with the top three teams in each pool advancing to the Super Six. The "Super Six" teams played the three other teams that advanced from the other group.

As they advanced, the teams carried their points forward from previous matches against other teams advancing alongside them, giving them an incentive to perform well in the group stages. The top four teams from the "Super 6" stage progressed to the semi-finals, with winners playing in the final.

The last format used in the 2007 World Cup, features sixteen teams allocated into four groups of four. Within each group, the teams play each other in a round-robin format. Teams earn points for wins and half-points for ties. The top two teams from each group move forward to the Super Eight round.

The "Super Eight " teams played the other six teams that progressed from the different groups. Teams earned points in the same way as the group stage, but carrying their points forward from previous matches against the other teams who qualified from the same group to the "Super Eight" stage. The top four teams from the "Super Eight" round advance to the semi-finals, and the winners of the semi-finals play in the final.

The current format, approved by ICC to be used in 2011 World Cup, features fourteen teams allocated. Within each group, the teams will play in a round-robin format. The top four teams from each group will proceed to the knock out stage playing quarter-finals. Winners of the quarter-finals will play semi-finals and the winning semi-finalists will play in the final.

The ICC Cricket World Cup Trophy is presented to the winners of the World Cup finals. The current trophy was designed and presented for the 1999 championships, and was the 1st Trophy presented to the tournament in the history of the event; prior to this, different trophies were introduced and offered in each World Cup. This trophy was designed and produced in London by a team of excellent craftsmen from Garrard & Co over a period of two months.

The current trophy is turned from silver and gold, and features a golden globe held up by three silver columns. The columns, shaped as stumps and bails, represent the three fundamental aspects of cricket: batting, bowling and fielding. While the globe characterizes a cricket ball. The trophy is designed with platonic dimensions, so that it can be easily recognized from any angle. It stands 60 cm high and weighs approximately eleven kilograms. The names of the previous winners are engraved on the base of the trophy, with space for a total of twenty inscriptions.

Original trophy with ICC

The original trophy is kept by the ICC, only a replica, which differs only in the inscriptions, is permanently awarded to the winning team.

The tournament is the World's third largest (with only the World Cup Football and the Olympics exceeding it), being televised in over two hundred countries to over 2.2 billion television viewer Television rights, mainly for the 2011 and 2015 World Cup, were sold for over US$1.1 billion, and sponsorship rights were sold for a further US$500 million. The 2003 Cricket World Cup matches were attended by 626,845 people, while the 2007 Cricket World Cup sold more than 672,000 tickets and recorded the highest ticketing revenue for a Cricket World Cup.

Successive World Cup tournaments have generated increasing media attention as One-Day International cricket has become more established. The 2003 World Cup in South Africa was the first to sport a mascot, Dazzler the zebra. An orange raccoon-like creature known as Mello was the mascot for the 2007 Cricket World Cup. The Mascot designed for 2011 is a young elephant called " Stumpy".

The ICC executive committee votes for the hosts of the tournament after examining the bids made by the nations keen to hold a Cricket World Cup.

England hosted the first three competitions. The ICC decided that England should host the first tournament because it was ready to devote the resources required to organizing the inaugural event. India volunteered to host the third Cricket World Cup, but most ICC members believed England to be a more suitable venue because the longer period of daylight in England in June meant that a match could be completed in one day.

The 1987 Cricket World Cup was the first hosted outside England, held in Pakistan and India. Many of the tournaments have been jointly hosted by nations from the same geographical region, such as South Asia in 1987 and 1996, Australasia in 1992, Southern Africa in 2003 and West Indies in 2007. Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and India are the host of the 2011 World Cup.

Sri Lanka only host team to win

Sri Lanka, who co-hosted the 1996 Cricket World Cup, is the only host team to win a World Cup tournament, though the final was held in Pakistan. England is the only other host to have made the final, in 1979. Other countries which have achieved or equalled their best World Cup results while co-hosting the tournament are New Zealand, semi-finalists in 1992; Zimbabwe, reaching the Super Six in 2003; and Kenya, semi-finalists in 2003. In 1987, co-hosts India and Pakistan both reached the semi-finals, but were eliminated by Australia and England respectively.

India's Dhoni, has said that "I am not going to buy a life jacket that doesn't come with a warranty", about the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS). The (in) famous quote leaves the uninitiated baffled and the informed frustrated.

The UDRS has got a lot of flak after the notorious not-out decision that was given in favour of Ian Bell by Billy Bowden in the India vs. England World Cup encounter.

A couple of days later, it was again the subject of debate when in Sri Lanka's match against Kenya, the umpire reversed his decision of "Out" after the review in similar circumstances. Since, in both these cases, the final verdict was "Not Out", the lesser informed have developed an opinion that the rule stipulates that if the point of impact is more than 2.5 m, it cannot be given out; leading many to argue that batsmen can avoid ever being LBW if they were to stand a foot outside the crease to bat.

The Indian Board and some senior players of India including Dhoni and Sachin have earlier argued that introduction of UDRS jeopardizes the authority and credibility of the umpires in the middle. What they probably don't realize is that by disputing Billy Bowden's decision, they are doing exactly that themselves, i.e., questioning the authority and judgment of the man in the middle.

The rulebook does not state that the batsman cannot be given out if the point of impact is more than 2.5 m away from the stumps. All it says is that in such cases, the on-field umpire, armed with additional information from the review, will take the final decision based on his understanding.

With regard to determining whether the ball was likely to have hit the stumps: If a "not out" decision is being reviewed, in order to report that the ball is hitting the stumps, the evidence provided by technology should show that the centre of the ball would have hit the stumps within an area demarcated by a line drawn below the lower edge of the bails and down the middle of the outer stumps.

However, in instances where the evidence shows that the ball would have hit the stumps within the demarcated area as set out above but that the point of impact is greater than 250 cm from the stumps, the third umpire shall notify the on-field umpire of:

Final decision with on-field umpire

The distance from the wickets to the point of impact with the batsman, The approximate distance from point of pitching to point of impact where the ball is predicted to hit the stumps.

In such a case, the on-field umpire shall have regard to the normal cricketing principles concerning the level of certainty in making his decision as to whether to change his decision.

In India's match, the umpire, Billy Bowden, upheld his decision because he had the "freedom" to do so, although in my opinion he should have given it out. In Sri Lanka's match, the umpire, armed with the additional information from the 3rd umpire that the ball had hit the batsmen more than 2.5m away from the stumps and that it was predicted to go a foot above the stumps, decided to overturn his decision.

The UDRS is there to avoid the absolute bowlers. It does not undermine the authority or the judgment of the on-field umpires.

It is only there to assist them. If one were to go through the rulebook, it clearly states that the UDRS will only overturn the decision of the on-field umpire when it can prove, as they say in the legal jargon, 'beyond reasonable doubt' that the decision is incorrect. Whenever there is doubt, the decision of the on-field umpire stays.

The UDRS is a tool which is there to assist the umpires. The instances of bad umpiring decisions having a bearing on the matches result had increased in the recent past making the need to improve the decision making even more critical.

Agreed that the UDRS has limitations of its own and could perhaps never be 100% reliable, but when looked at as an aiding device that still depends on the judgment and understanding of humans to come to a conclusion, it is a pretty useful tool to have.



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