Somewhat of an optimistic prediction about BD's capacity to progress through to the second round...............however i guess there is always hope...........the team needs to believe itself and we will have time to prepare given the comparatively light international schedule for BD up to then.
Bangladesh in group two for '07 WC
Bangladesh are almost guaranteed a place in the second round of the ninth ICC Cricket World Cup, to be staged in the Caribbean in 2007, as they are grouped with the Sri Lanka, India and a yet-to-be-decided qualifier, reports BDNEWS.
The 2007 World Cup is to be contested by a record 16 teams that will be split into four groups of four for the first round with the top two sides progressing to the second round Super Eight stage. The semi-finalists will be decided at the conclusion of the second phase.
Pakistan are grouped with the hosts West Indies, Zimbabwe and a yet-to-be-decided qualifier. According to details available with Dawn, the ICC ODI Championship table on April 1 - the cut-off date set by the game's governing body - will form the basis of the seedings for the mega event which will be played at eight venues across the Caribbean in two years' time.
The 11 teams with One-day International status will be seeded on Friday, based on the April 1, 2005 ODI Championship rankings. And with no more One-day Internationals being played prior to the cut-off date, Pakistan, currently ranked fourth, are placed in Pool 4 alongside the sixth-ranked West Indies and the two minnows, ninth-ranked Zimbabwe and the unknown qualifier. These four teams are to be based in Jamaica.
The remaining five spots will be decided in July this year when Ireland host the ICC Trophy, which serves as the qualifying phase for the World Cup. The actual tournament dates with complete schedule of matches for the biggest one-day cricket event will be announced immediately after the ICC Trophy ends in mid-July.
Undisputed world champions Australia, winners of the previous two World Cup editions in England (1999) and South Africa two years ago, England, India and West Indies were already pre-seeded last July into four separate groups to ensure a smooth management of the accommodation, transport and numerous logistical matters in the Caribbean.
The top-ranked Australians, who are placed in Pool 1, will be based in St Kitts and Nevis where they would have the company of their old rivals South Africa, the ICC Trophy winners and the fifth-placed team from that competition.
India, currently ranked eighth, will play their matches in Trinidad & Tobago with second-ranked Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and the fourth-placed ICC Trophy side in Pool 2. Third-ranked New Zealand join England, ranked seventh, in St Lucia along with 10th-ranked Kenya and the third-placed ICC Trophy team in Pool 3.
Given the constant decline in form of both Zimbabwe and West Indies, the 1992 World Cup champions Pakistan should encounter no major problem in making the Super Eight stage with an unblemished record in the initial round.
Two years ago in southern Africa, Pakistan endured, perhaps, their worst-ever World Cup campaign when they failed miserably and were ousted before the second round (previously known as the Super Six stage) after finishing runners-up to Steve Waugh's Aussies in 1999.
Group Phase For World Cup 2007:
POOL 1: Australia, South Africa, ICC Trophy winners, ICC Trophy fifth-placed team.
POOL 2: Sri Lanka, India, Bangladesh, ICC Trophy fourth-placed team.
POOL 3: New Zealand, England, Kenya, ICC Trophy third-placed team.
POOL 4: West Indies, Pakistan, Zimbabwe, ICC Trophy runners-up.
ODI Championship Rankings:
1. Australia 140 rating points; 2. Sri Lanka 117; 3. New Zealand 116; 4. Pakistan 109; 5. South Africa 107; 6. West Indies 105; 7. England 103; 8. India 98; 9. Zimbabwe 50; 10. Kenya 26; 11. Bangladesh 11.