Most reputable cricketing journalists agree that within these limitations, the fairest World Cup format would involve four groups of four, followed by quarter finals. The format that has been announced instead involves a tedious ten-team round-robin, embracing all of the thrills and excitement of the disastrous 2007 Super Eights with none of the novelty or excitement of 1992. But enough lambasting of cricket's governance for now; I did enough of that a year ago.
Instead, I'll look at what such a tournament could have looked like if it were to happen next year.
2007: Australia, Netherlands, Scotland, South Africa.
2015: Afghanistan, India, Scotland, South Africa
In 2007, this was probably the least interesting group in the first stage of the tournament. Containing both of the top two teams in the world rankings, then easing both of them into the tournament with games against Associates, it didn't really make sense. Using the same seeds and fixtures as 2007, it's hard to see anything other than India and South Africa progressing through to the next round. This would please the broadcasters greatly.
2007: Bangladesh, Bermuda, India, Sri Lanka. 2015: Bangladesh, England, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea
The group that rang the death knell on a sixteen-team World Cup thanks to a plucky Bangladesh defeat of India, this group would contain two mercurial sides alongside the dangerous Bangladeshis. It seems unlikely in Antipodean conditions, but if Bangladesh were to pull off an upset, they could set up a thrilling finale as one of England and Pakistan has to face off against the other in a straight fight for the second knock-out spot.
2007: Canada, England, Kenya, New Zealand. 2015: Australia, Hong Kong, Ireland, New Zealand
It's unlikely that the ICC would allow both host nations to share a group, but if they did, it would likely set up a nervous clash to finish the group, as Ireland play New Zealand with the chance to really upset the apple cart. Either way, by having the two main teams in the group play each other early on, it leaves one of them with a sequence of must-win games if they want to progress.
2007: Ireland, Pakistan, West Indies, Zimbabwe. 2015: Sri Lanka, United Arab Emirates, West Indies, Zimbabwe
Although unlikely to wield the same magic as 2007, Group D would contain a Zimbabwean side truly desperate to prove that they are still relevant. The West Indies, meanwhile, would come into the tournament with a big target on their backs; this group could end up being a very influential one for the future of cricket in Zimbabwe - a Costa Rica-esque run into the knock-outs could earn an invaluable boost in funding.
The Final Eight
2007: A 24-match round-robin followed by the semis and the final. 2015: Quarter-finals.
After a fairly exciting group stage, the 2007 World Cup was absolutely ruined by a glut of games which quickly lost their context. Had it moved straight onto a knock-out stage, every game would have been a must-win. Suddenly, one of the top teams would have had to see off an Ireland team that had already exceeded expectations and could afford to give absolutely everything; Bangladesh could have seen off West Indies to reach the semi-finals. Those kinds of unlikely stories are exactly what sport is all about.
With the ten-team format in place, I see no way for cricket to continue to stay relevant outside the main Full Member countries. How do you persuade a young Scottish athlete to put his time and effort into cricket when he may never again see his country at a World Cup?