World Cup format and regulations
Guyana Chronicle
March 4, 2007

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LONDON, England (Reuters) - Format and regulations of the cricket World Cup starting in the West Indies on March 13:

*1st round. The ninth edition of the World Cup will be contested by 16 teams, the most ever. In the first round they are divided into four groups of four teams and play each other once. The top two from each group qualify for the super eight.

*Super eight. The winners and runners-up from the four groups will play each of the other teams except the team which advanced from their own group. The top four qualify for the semi-finals.

*Semi-finals and final. The second and third place finishers will contest the first semi-final while the teams placed first and fourth will meet in the second. The winners meet in the final in Barbados on April 28.

*Points: Two for a win, one for a tie or a game without result in the preliminary and super eight stages. Teams qualifying for the super eight carry forward only the points gained in the group stage against the other qualifier.

*Key rules:

If the scores are equal, the match is tied regardless of the number of wickets which have fallen.

Each match comprises two sessions of 3-1/2 hours each with a 45-minute interval. First session 0930 - 1300, interval 1300 - 1345, second session 1345 1715

If the start is delayed or play is suspended, the match can be extended by a maximum 30 minutes.

*Key innovations:
Powerplay - Fielding restrictions when only two fielders are allowed outside the 30-metre circle surrounding the wicket with at least two in catching positions will be applied in three blocks totalling 20 overs.

The first powerplay of 10 overs automatically comes into force at the start of an innings. The fielding captain must then nominate two five-over spells when restrictions will apply.

Bowl-out - Cricket's equivalent of soccer's penalty shootout if the semi-finals or final end in a tie. Bowlers from opposing teams take turns to bowl at a set of three stumps. The team with the most hits after five deliveries each is the winner.