Hosts to play quarter-final matches at home: ICC

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Dhaka, Feb 18 (PTI) Hosts India, Sri Lanka and Bangladeshwill play their knock-out matches at home if they advance tothe quarterfinal stage of the World Cup, International CricketCouncil (ICC) chief executive Haroon Lorgat said today.

Lorgat also said that if two host nations face eachother, the side placed higher in the pre-tournament seedingwill get preference, which means India will play all itsknock-out ties on home soil if they get past the preliminarystage.

"I can confirm that the three host countries will playthe knock-out rounds on their own grounds," Lorgat toldreporters ahead of tomorrow''s tournament opener between Indiaand Bangladesh in Mirpur.

ICC''s decision means the original schedule, according towhich the specific World Cup quarterfinal matches were marked,will be changed depending on where the hosts finish.

As per the schedule, the quarter-final matches are asfollow: A1 v B4 (Mirpur), A2 v B3 (Ahmedabad), A3 v B2(Mirpur) and A4 v B1 (Colombo).

But now, as per the decision, India will play itsquarterfinal match in Ahmedabad, irrespective of where theyfinish in Group B. The March 24 quarterfinal at the Gujaratcity is between third-placed team in group B and the secondteam in group A.

So if India finish second, they will take on thethird-placed team from group A. But even if Mahendra SinghDhoni''s men do not finish third in group B, they will stillplay in Ahmedabad against a side which will not know theirvenue till the last league match ends on March 20.

Sri Lanka, on the other hand, will play their final eightmatch in Colombo on March 26, unless they face India. In sucha scenario India will get pre-tournament seeding preferenceand will play in Ahmedabad. .

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