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ICC announce seeding system for next World Cup

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    ICC announce seeding system for next World Cup

    Holders Australia and host nation South Africa seem certain to be kept apart in the group stages of the next World Cup if they maintain anything like the kind of form they have shown since the 1999 event in England.

    A revised ranking and seeding system, to be used at the next World Cup in South Africa in 2003, has been approved by the International Cricket Council (ICC) and it means that the first and second-seeded teams would be kept apart in the group stage of the tournament.

    The seedings are based on the percentage of wins each country has achieved in their one-day international matches since the last World Cup and, although matches up until September 2001 will be included, Australia and South Africa are unlikely to be moved from first and second place respectively.

    ``The reason for this cutoff date is that it is our intention to announce the programme of matches in October 2001,'' Ali Bacher, executive director of the 2003 world cup, said in a statement on Tuesday.

    The top-seeded team will be grouped with the fourth, fifth, eighth, ninth, 12th and 13th seeds while the second seed will play the third, sixth, seventh, 10th, 11th and 14th seeds before the second phase of the tournament.

    Although winning percentages, which exclude 'no result' matches, may change before September, the current records of the competing nations would group Australia (80 percent) with Pakistan (55.1), England (55), West Indies (37.2), Zimbabwe (25.45) and two qualifying nations.

    South Africa (64.58) would be grouped with Sri Lanka (61.36), India (47.17), New Zealand (38.89), Bangladesh (0), Kenya (0) and the final qualifying nation.