This World Cup as you know will be jointly co hosted by Sri Lanka, India
and Bangladesh. The good news for these teams is that they will play all
their knockout games at their respective home grounds, regardless of where they
stand in their groups at the end of the preliminary stage of the tournament which
starts in February next year.
If two host teams are to meet in knock out phase, the team which is positioned
higher at pre tournament seeding (which were locked a year before) will get
to play in their own backyard. For example, if India get to quarter finals,
they will play their match in Ahmadabad even if the opposing team in Sri Lanka,
the reason being that India were placed better than Sri Lanka when the
team's seeding was finalized. The final is also scheduled to take place in India,
which means they will play all their games on home soil irrespective of their
opponents in the knockout stage.
Sri Lankans will get to play India at away grounds, but all other teams including
co hosts Bangladesh at home. Similar formula will apply to Bangladesh, when
they play against any other team they will play at home but if they are drawn
up against the either of the two co hosts India and Sri Lanka they will
have to play away.
Application of these rules would mean that face of knockout stages will not
be vivid until the positions of three host nations become clear. An unidentified
ICC official said that this current schedule would probably have an adverse
effect on management of logistical and organizational tasks. The official said
that knock out stages cannot be finalized until the very final game of group
stages which in India Vs West Indies at Chennai on 20th March. The picture would
only become clear after that game.
The first stage of the tournament would be a league phase where fourteen teams,
divided into two groups equally would battle to gain top four spots in the groups
for the qualification of quarter finals.
The scripting of groups in the knock out phase is similar to that of 1992 where
New Zealand would have been made to play their game in Sydney had they come
up against Australia in the next stage, but as Australia didn't make it through
the first stage; New Zealand played their semi final game in Auckland.
It is understood that ICC came up with this policy as consideration for the
fans who can book tickets of their teams in advance rather than waiting to see
where their team finishes.