The ICC and ECB have this morning announced England’s schedule for the up-coming World Cup this summer, with the home side playing at all 4 “host” grounds – Derby, Leicester, Taunton and Bristol – during the round-robin stages; followed by a semi-final at either Bristol or Derby, and (if they get there, of course) the final at Lords on July 23rd.
England begin by hosting the subcontinental trio – India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. You’d think they’d have to be looking to win all 3 of those games to put themselves in a strong position for the tougher tests to come, when a slip-up somewhere along the line is probably inevitable. England certainly won’t want to be going into the last couple of games, versus New Zealand and the West Indies, with semi-final qualification in doubt, though that will possibly depend very-much on how evenly all those other results fall.
With everyone playing everyone else in the group stages, it is going to be a huge tournament – 31 matches in just 30 days – so whoever eventually lifts that trophy at Lords will truly have earned the title of “World Champions”.
|Saturday 24 June||v India||Derby|
|Tuesday 27 June||v Pakistan||Leicester|
|Sunday 02 July||v Sri Lanka||Taunton|
|Wednesday 05 July||v South Africa||Bristol|
|Sunday 09 July||v Australia||Bristol|
|Wednesday 12 July||v New Zealand||Derby|
|Saturday 15 July||v West Indies||Bristol|
|Tuesday 18 July||Semi Final 1||Bristol|
|Thursday 20 July||Semi Final 2||Derby|
|Sunday 23 July||Final||Lord’s|
Very interesting fixtures list. I think England will be looking to be in a decent position going into a more difficult looking final 3 group fixtures. If they can get past a tough challenge against India first up, they should be able to get into their stride in the middle of the group stages, and hopefully a potential loss against Aus won’t be a game changer. It looks tough overall, but remember, quite a bit has to stack up for England not to qualify. If we assume Aus and NZ will go through, then two of probably WI, India or SA will probably have to do very well and pull off wins against Aus/NZ/Eng. It’s possible, but not that likely seeing as they could beat each other, and India especially may find it hard quickly adjusting to the conditions. I can’t wait for this to start…
The England team have huge pressure to perform on home soil and deserve our unequivocal support. However the timing and locale of many games will require significant travel for the fans in the North & South. Hopefully schools will be given plenty of tickets to games.
The ECB have launched their All Stars Cricket campaign for young player participation but they are relying on the tournament, Sky coverage and the England team to boost the game at all other levels.
Knowing the potential for growth and the need for a grassroots boost this ECB strategy seems to be putting the eggs all in one ICC Trophy basket, rather than an all out assault by Matt Dwyer and his team.
I’m disappointed we won’t be able to see England women’s cricket anywhere in northern England. I realize whichever venues the organizers pick, there’ll always be somebody feeling left out — but from up here, Derby and Leicester are right next to each other: supporters who could get to one could presumably get to t’other reasonably easily.
Breaks the “play, spare, travel” rule with West Indies having to play in Derby on 9th and then Leicester on the 11th (unless they have one hotel equi-distant between Derby and Leicester)
Fails to allow every team to play at every ground (Aus don’t play at Derby, NZ don’t play at Leicester and Pakistan don’t play at Bristol)
Massive bias of Eng & Aus to Bristol and Taunton (9 matches) versus Derby and Leicester (4 matches) – its possible to have a schedule where every ground has at least 3 matches involving England or Australia
Do the ICC think Leicester is made up of Pakistan supporters (5 matches there) but not India supporters (only 1 match) – easy to have a schedule where India and Pakistan play 3 matches in Leicester (including against each other)
Bristol gets 3 England matches whilst Taunton and Leicester only get 1 – again easy to have a schedule where England play twice at 3 grounds and once at the other
If you want to see the biggest variety of teams, and assuming you attend all 14 playing days, then there are 36 combinations which allow you see 4 of the teams 3 times and 4 of the teams 4 times – other schedules allow over 75 combinations to achieve this, so limited variety.
Basically a pretty poorly thought out schedule – perhaps the ICC have a very low opinion of our transport infrastructure and wanted to reduce travel to a minimum (not to be honest that is particularly good at doing this either). Would be really interested to know what criteria they used to create this schedule.
Anyone thinking of spending the whole 2 weeks of the round robin phase dashing between grounds might want to base themselves in Tewkesbury – 90 miles to Derby, 71 to Leicester, 47 to Bristol and 88 to Taunton – about as central as one can get.