Group A: The mighty Aussies, equally mighty SA, and not so mighty Scotland and the Netherlands
Group B:Sri Lanka, India, Bangladesh & Bermuda(yes, Bermuda, it is a speck in the Atlantic, spot it if you can)
Group C:New Zealand, England, Kenya & Canada
Group D:Pakistan, West Indies, Zimbabwe & Ireland.
No guesses, Group A & C appear very tough groups.
The tournament itself is in four stages:
Stage 1: Group Stage (Teams within the groups play each other, once). This stage kicks off on 13th March with a WI at Pak match.In all there are 24 matches in this stage which ends on March 25.Eight teams move to the next round, eight drop out and head home.Parents of kids writing 10th and 12th this year can rub their eyes in disbelief. Yes, cricket world cup is happening this time of the year. If you are in some planning function in your organisation in India, have fun because both cricket and your employer will demand late evenings.
Stage 2: Super Eight Stage begins on March 27 and ends on 22 April. This stage has the potential to make you cricket weary or to create cricket widows, depending on your liking. Office productivity will be very low and lot of employees would report sick, owing to late night matches.Four teams head home, four move to the semis.24 matches in this round.Remember, it is financial year closure too, so expect late nights anyway.
Stage 3: Matches on 24th and 25th April. The losers of the two semis head home. They even would not mind flying into their countries by different flights, especially if there are a few missed catches in the semis.Different flight and different ports of entry help them avoid potentially rowdy demonstrations at airports.Couple of retirements and couple of sackings, and lot of team bickering out in the media.Yes, you figured it out, there are exactly two semis.
Stage 4: The Finals match of ICC World Cup 2007 is on April 28, which is Saturday. India is switched off from any other form of organised activity, including mundane ones such as going to schools and offices.The victor celebrates.If India wins, dances in the streets and fireworks. The looser heads home. For once perhaps, politicians and terrorists do not make headlines, in newspaper published in any language in India.
For some reason, ICC and BCCI do not seem to believe in releasing the schedule in IST. So, here's my own amateur effort, ICC Cricket World Cup 2007 schedule in IST, served via Google Calendar. Click on agenda in case you see a month view.
In case you wish to subscibe to this calendar, hit the Google Calendar button below. You can always set it to your timezone.