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Sport Thought: When it comes to teams, less is more, but not always

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It was pure coincidence. A couple of days after the AFL competition committee discussed the prospect of a “wildcard round” of finals for teams finishing seventh to 10th on the ladder at the end of the home-and-away season, the 10 captains for the upcoming Cricket World Cup posed on the other side of the world ahead of the tournament commencing this week.

Melbourne would have benefited from a wildcard round in 2017.Credit:AAP

What is the connection between those two events? Nothing particularly official, although Australian captain Aaron Finch is a Geelong fan from nearby Colac and Indian skipper Virat Kohli once donned a Richmond jumper when he was out here four years ago, creating one of those photos that gets rolled out from time to time for general amusement.

The link between the captains photo and the chat at AFL House is beneath the surface. It is a matter of numbers.

The term “wildcard round” is just jargon, and strictly speaking a bit inaccurate too. Wildcard berths are used in American sports leagues which are split into conferences and divisions, allowing the best-performed teams who didn’t finish atop their division at the end of the regular season to make the play-offs. Hence, they are labelled........

© The Age