Media and fans alike are tearing at the fetid remains of the Cricket World Cup like a pack of rabid Hyenas. The difference being that Hyenas usually laugh; there is no amusement to be had here at all. But can we take a rib from the bones of this tournament and create a whole new being, as God apparently did with Eve: a thing of beauty, a tournament fit for purpose, something people actually want to watch?
Forgetting the obvious ICC cock-ups, the biggest problem with the World Cup is the cricket itself. There are not enough truly competetive fixtures from the outset, in that teams can lose a number of matches and still get to the semis. The crowds know this and the players know this, threfore there is no intensity from the players and thus no interest from the spectators. I have been watching this tournament throughout (unfortunately), and I can count on two fingers the number of conversations I have had about it: it is too long and too many matches inconsequential to care.
The ICC simply have to find a way of harnessing the games that are happening all over the world as teams tour and play each other. The cricketing calendar is currently an endless merry-go-round of triangular series' and back to back ODIs that mean very little; these could and should be used as some kind of qualifying regime.
This would take the form of a two division World League, with the top eight teams in Division 1 and the next eight in Division 2. A schedule of games would then be agreed over a 4 year period in which points are accrued; nations could of course arrange fixtures outside of this schedule as well. This would lead to a seeded 16-team straightforward knockout competition at the end of the qualifying period. Imagine that - a World Cup that is only 15 games long: more flexible scheduling; an end to the comedy Duckworth Lewis nonsense in the big games; no need for semi finals to be played midweek.
Of course this format could increase the risk that top teams could go out early, and if it does so what? This is sport, and it just may reduce this risk as it will force big teams to get their game faces on early.