Originally Posted by _Ed_
Yeah, I agree with that. If that leads to an associate surprisingly getting through, good on them.
Exactly. I have heard people say things like the seven-team group "rewards consitency" - well, who cares about consistency? That's not the point of a tournament. You may as well not bother and hand the trophy to the no.1 ranked team - they've been the consistent side in ODI cricket.
If I had my way, I'd have all knockouts from beginning to end. Of course, this isn't feasible - it'd be over too quickly and you can't make half the teams prepare for a world cup and fly out there just for one match. Four teams to a group ensures everyone gets a few games and there's plenty of matches to sell tickets to. But they all still mean something.