Cricket World Cup: Seven fixes ICC must make before 2023 tournament in India
The International Cricket Council has been criticised over several issues that have dogged the 2019 edition
IMPROVE UMPIRING STANDARDS: For the most part, the umpiring standards at the 2019 World Cup were found wanting - not least in the final on Sunday. An example of it was when the freak fielding deflection off Ben Stokes' bat that raced to the boundary saw England erroneously awarded six runs, instead of five, in the last over. Had England been awarded five runs, New Zealand would have won the match by one run. Reuters
REPLACE BOUNDARIES RULE: The final ended in a tie in regulation time - as did the Super Over. Yet, England were adjudged title winners because - wait for it - they scored more boundaries throughout the game. This has ruffled more than a few feathers, with some pointing out this rule places greater emphasis on big hits rather than rewarding teams that run harder. Two alternatives have been suggested: one is to make the number of wickets to fall in each innings the tie-breaker; the other is to take out the 'extras' from each innings to see which team has more runs with the bat. AP Photo
ALLOW SHARING OF TROPHY: New Zealand coach Gary Stead has batted for the idea of sharing the World Cup. After all, if two teams cannot be separated after 100 overs AND the Super Over, surely they both deserve the trophy just as much. The 2002 Champions Trophy was shared by Sri Lanka captain Sanath Jayasuriya and his India counterpart, Sourav Ganguly. Of course, in this case, the match ended in a no-result due to inclement weather. The ICC should consider such a settlement even after a final ends in a tie. Getty Images
REPLACE NET RUN-RATE WITH HEAD-TO-HEAD: Pakistan finished level with New Zealand on 11 points, and yet it was the latter who qualified for the semi-finals - by virtue of having a better net run-rate. But there are two flaws with this system. Firstly, fans probably scratched their heads before reaching for their calculators to find out what margin Pakistan had to beat Bangladesh by in their last group game in order to qualify. Also, New Zealand batted defensively against England in their final group match to ensure they didn't slip on net run-rate - which made for very boring cricket. So why not, instead, make ‘head-to-head’ the tie-breaker? Getty Images
FINISH RAIN-DELAYED MATCHES: It is shocking to note only Australia, England and Afghanistan got a full result from their nine group games. This indirectly cost Pakistan a place in the semi-finals given it put a dent in their points tally - in theory, of course. For this reason, reserve days should be brought into the group phase. Because the ICC's priority should be fairness even if this poses logistical challenges, such as scheduling and television coverage. Getty Images
RE-EXPAND WORLD CUP: The ICC brought down the number of teams eligible to compete in the 2019 World Cup to 10 - from the 14 that played in the 2015 edition. The number of groups went from two to one as well, presumably to ensure teams such as India, England and Australia play at least nine matches each. This was allegedly to maximise TV revenue. But it came at a cost, which was that lesser known teams - such as the UAE - were denied the stage on which to perform and make progress. The ICC intends to continue with the 10-team, single-group format in 2023, but it must reconsider its decision in order to encourage smaller teams and ensure it goes ahead with its stated vision of spreading the game across the world. Getty Images
DROP ZING BAILS: There have been at least five instances during the 2019 edition when the 'Zing' bails did not get dislodged from the stumps because of the weight of the lights embeded in them which flash when they do get dislodged. Despite pleas from India captain Virat Kohli and Australia skipper Aaron Finch to replace them with the good old wooden bails, organisers refused to budge. There should be a rethink on what is considered a relatively minor issue, but one that can sometime in the future become a major one - during a crucial situation in a critical match. Who cares about the flashing lights anyway? AP Photo
The International Cricket Council has a handful of issues to tackle if it is to hold a controversy-free and unblemished World Cup in four years' time.
The 2023 Cricket World Cup will be held entirely in India from February 9 to March 26, and after examining the pitfalls that took some of the sheen away from the 2019 edition in England and Wales, it seems obvious the sport's governing body needs to usher in reforms.
We highlight seven problems that the ICC needs to look into urgently.
To find out what they are, browse through the photo gallery above.
Updated: July 16, 2019 08:50 AM