The Tragedy of the World Cup’s “Group B”

It’s clear which four teams from Group A will emerge into the quarterfinals. (I fancy ten Doeschate as much as the next bloke, but I don’t see the Netherlands — or Kenya or Zimbabwe — reviving their hopes at this point.) But what about Group B, with Ireland and Bangladesh languishing in the first round? Am I really supposed to choose between the West Indies, erstwhile champions, and one of these countries? And how would I do that — surely Bangladesh, a co-host and, quite frankly, much more cricket crazy than the Caribbean — deserve to stay in the tournament simply on those grounds alone? And what of Ireland — could they not go into the knock-out matches and surprise us once more?

Sigh. This is one dilemma the Super Eights format, from the 2007 World Cup, nicely solved. Of course, we know what was wrong with that setup, so let’s not yearn for it too much. India, England, West Indies and South Africa — I suppose I can live with that.

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