ICC rejects changes to World Cup final

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The proposal to turn the final of the 2007 World Cup in the West Indies into a best-of-three series was yesterday rejected by the International Cricket Council.

The ICC chief executive, Malcolm Speed, said the idea had been discussed but it was decided to stick with a single winner-takes-all match. "There were some who supported [a best-of-three final], including me, but the sense in the end was that the cricket World Cup is about one match, sudden-death, best team on the day wins the World Cup," Speed said.

The organisers have, however, agreed to use a new, expanded format in 2007 with the 16 teams split into four equal pools. The top two from each pool will proceed to a Super Eight phase from which the top four would then advance to the semi-finals.

Speed added that each of the four pools would be staged in different islands of the West Indies to reduce the amount of travelling in the region. The United States is also being considered to host a pool.

"There will be at least one group from the United States that will bid to host matches and it will be in a competitive bidding process with the West Indian islands," Speed said.