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Former BCCI chief blames format for India's exit
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March 27, 2007 21:41 IST

A former Board of Control for Cricket in India president has blamed the format of the World Cup for India's early elimination.

Runners-up in the last edition, India crashed out in the first round of the event in the Caribbean last week after losing two out of three group matches, to Bangladesh and former champions Sri Lanka.

"The current format is not right. A team cannot be eliminated from the tournament on the basis of one bad match in five days," Inderjit Bindra told Reuters on Tuesday.

Bindra, who still attends Indian board meetings as president of the Punjab Cricket Association, was referring to India's opening match defeat to Bangladesh that led to the predicament.

"If you have the ranking then the top eight teams should play at least seven matches before they are eliminated from the tournament," he said.

The team's early exit led to a widespread demand by several former players and irate fans in cricket-crazy India to axe captain Rahul Dravid and coach Greg Chappell.

The board is to analyse the debacle at a meeting next week, which could lead to the sacking of the captain and coach.

In the current format, 16 teams are divided into four groups of four teams and play each other once with the top two from each group moving to the Super Eights.

The 2011 World Cup is to be hosted by the sub-continent and Bindra said the organising committee would ask the International Cricket Council to review the format.

"It (the current) format is not conducive for marketing. I know a lot of people who bought tickets for the much-expected match between India and Pakistan. In my opinion the 1992 format was the best," he said.

Jointly hosted by Australia and New Zealand, the 1992 World Cup, won by Pakistan, saw nine teams play each other in the first phase with the top four advancing to the semi-finals.

Pakistan also exited in the first round in the Caribbean after a shock defeat to Ireland.

The seven-week World Cup culminates in the final in Barbados on April 28.

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