Sunday, 25 March 2007

Ben on...the higher mathematics of cricket

So I have worked out the schedule for the Super 8 stage. The qualifing teams are given a code, A1, A2, B1,... But the code isn't based on where the teams finish in the group. It's based on the teams' seedings, which is presumably based on their performance some time in the past. Except where a team outside the top 8 seedings qualifies, in which case only the seeding of any qualifying top 8 team in that group is relevant, but not relative to any non-top 8 teams that qualify, but rather relative to the top 8 team that didn't qualify. So the code for any qualifying non-top 8 teams is based on based to be arbitrary.

Look at it this way. Only the top 8 teams were supposed to qualify and the schedule of who was going to play who in the Super 8 was drafted based on that, starting and culminating with the blockbuster matches of West Indies vs Australia and England, respectively. Any non-top 8 teams with the cheek to qualify can just fit in wherever their qualification has made a hole in the schedule.

I guess it doesn't matter what the schedule is as everyone in the Super 8 plays everyone else at some stage. However, it seems such a clunky, inelegant system. It's pretty opaque as well in that it is hard to see what the intention is, let alone the fact that no one ever bothered to tell us how it works.

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