The groups for the 2011 World Cup have been decided. While the format has not been formally disclosed by the ICC, they have indicated that it will be a quarter-final format i.e. top 4 in each group play in the QFs. The tournament is going to be shortened to 49 matches (from 51) and to around 5 weeks (from 6 weeks).
I personally am not a fan of the QF format, but what the hell can I do about it. I think the Champions Trophy is a better deal than the World Cup. My own ideal format for the World Cup is as follows: have 14 teams, of which 4 teams get byes into a Super-8 round (previous champs, most recent CT champs, most recent T20 champs, #1 ODI team, etc). The 10 remaining teams are divided into two groups of 5 each, and play each other. Top two in each group join the other 4 in the Super-8. In the Super-8, everyone plays each other and top 4 go to the semis. It will be 51 matches (same as 2007), but with at least two matches a day, it can comfortably be completed in 5 weeks or less.
Anyways, I’m not the ICC chief so I can’t decide the format. So, without further ado, I present the 2011 World Cup groups:
Group A – Australia, Pakistan, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, Canada, Kenya.
Group B – India, South Africa, England, West Indies, Bangladesh, Ireland, Netherlands.