VIRAT Kohli has suggested the International Cricket Council (ICC) may want to consider changing the format of the World Cup after India’s dramatic semi-final exit.India unleashed the fury of one billion fanatical cricket fans back home when they stumbled to an 18-run defeat by New Zealand at Old Trafford, despite topping the table during the tournament’s protracted round-robin group stage.It was arguably India’s worst defeat since losing against Bangladesh in Trinidad at the 2007 World Cup, a result that led to their crashing out in the first round. That tournament in the Caribbean 12 years ago started with four groups of four, meaning India, cricket’s most powerful economic draw, played only three matches.The ICC, at the behest of the Indian board and broadcasters, ensured such an occurrence would never happen again by extending the first-round stage at World Cups; each team were guaranteed a minimum of nine matches at the tournament this year.Now Kohli has suggested the latter stages should be tweaked as well in the format for the World Cup in 2023, to be held in India.Asked whether he would like to see the tournament follow the model of the Indian Premier League (IPL), in which teams who finish top in the regular season get another chance to reach the final if they lose their first playoff match, the India captain said: “Maybe. If topping the table means anything. I think these things can come into consideration, looking at the magnitude of this tournament. That is a really valid point. You never know when that is going to be implemented.“You finish No.1 in the table and then a spell of bad cricket and you are out of the tournament completely. But you have to accept it.”Kohli admitted he was heartbroken by the defeat after India had won eight of their nine group matches, losing only against England. “It doesn’t matter what you have done before that. It’s a fresh day, fresh start, and if you are not good enough you go home. So you have to accept that.“I’m very disappointed. We played outstanding cricket throughout this tournament and to just go out on the basis of 45 minutes of bad cricket is saddening and it breaks your heart because you have worked so hard throughout the tournament to build momentum.”In the mayhem at the start of their innings India crashed to 24 for four inside 10 overs before a century stand for the seventh-wicket between Ravindra Jadeja and MS Dhoni brought them close to chasing down 240.“I think we are sad but we are not devastated because of the kind of cricket that we played in this tournament,” Kohli said.“We were not good enough and that is the nature of this tournament. A bad day in the knockout stage and you are out. We didn’t stand up to the challenge and we were not good enough under pressure. We have to accept the failure as it shows on the scoreboard.” (Yahoo Sport)
The seven-race flat card gets underway at 4.35.There’s also a meeting in Bellewstown, which starts at 4.15.
Lionel Messi missed out on a chance to match Gerd Mueller’s record of 85 goals in a calendar year as he was injured during Barcelona’s draw with Benfica.Messi, who hurt his left knee in a collision with Benfica keeper Artur, was taken off 30 minutes after coming on as a second-half substitute.Benfica knew a win would see them finish second behind Barca in Group G.But the Portuguese side missed several early chances and the 0-0 draw meant Celtic qualified instead.Messi, who has scored 84 goals so far in 2012, had been left on the bench by Barca, who were already guaranteed to go through as group winners.The 25-year-old Argentina international has four matches left this year to overhaul Mueller’s tally – La Liga games against Real Betis, Atletico Madrid and Real Valladolid, and a Copa del Rey tie with Cordoba. FC Barcelona’s official Twitter account tweeted after the Benfica game: “Messi has a bruise on the outside of his left knee. He’ll undergo further tests to determine the exact extent of the injury.”Elsewhere, Galatasaray pipped CFR Cluj to second place behind Manchester United in Group H after a dramatic late win over Braga.The Turkish side, who trailed to Mossoro’s first-half goal, levelled through Burak Yilmaz’s header and triumphed when Aydin Yilmaz tapped home after Quim failed to hold on to a shot.That meant they finished above Cluj on the head-to-head rule, leaving the Romanian side to settle for a Europa League spot.Juventus edged a tight game against Shakhtar Donetsk to join the Ukrainians in qualifying from Group E. The Italian side, who needed a point to finish above Chelsea, scored the only goal of the game when Stephan Lichtsteiner’s cross went in off Shakhtar defender Olexander Kucher.Juventus go through as group winners, while Donetsk finish second above the Blues because of their head-to-head record – they scored more goals at Stamford Bridge than the London club managed at the Donbass Arena.Bayern Munich and Valencia were already sure of their progress from Group F before the final round of matches and both teams rounded off their group campaign with wins.The German side thrashed BATE Borisov 4-1 to ensure they went through as group winners, while Valencia beat Lille 1-0 in France. BATE already knew they would finish third.