Australia news April 20, 2011

'World Cup should have 10 best teams' - CA


Co-hosts Australia want the 2015 World Cup to be contested by the 10 teams that most deserve to be there, and will state that position when the ICC reconsiders the tournament format at its annual conference in Hong Kong.

The initial decision to simply allow cricket's 10 Full Member nations, including the struggling Zimbabwe and Bangladesh, to take their places at the next World Cup without any kind of qualification process was met with global indignation. However the ICC president Sharad Pawar has flagged a reconsideration of the wishes of the Associate nations, including 2011 tournament bright sparks Ireland, meaning several possibilities are now on the table for the June meeting.

"Our starting point on ICC Events has always been that qualification should be based on merit," a Cricket Australia spokesman told ESPNcricinfo.

"We support moving to a 10-team ICC World Cup in 2015 and longer term, support moving to ICC World Cups which are 10-team contests based on merit, [like] the top 10-ranked nations in the world. The ICC has discussed reviewing the position on 2015 and we will be an interested participant [both as an ICC member and also as a co-host] in that discussion."

Options include an expansion of the number of competing teams from 10 to the 2011 model of 14 or the more likely choice of 12, or simply the addition of a qualifying tournament between the best two Associate nations and the stragglers among the Full Members. Such a solution is clearly Cricket Australia's preference, for administrators have begun plotting the 2015 event with New Zealand based on a 10-team plan.

New Zealand coach John Wright joined the already loud chorus asking for a qualification process for the 2015 World Cup. In an interview with ESPNcricinfo, Wright said, "The World Cup has got to be about the world - they (the ICC) have to be sure they have got the ten best teams in it. No matter where they come from. Otherwise it's a nonsense. Surely it doesn't take eight years to sort that one out."

Wright cited Ireland's example saying the team had been, a "revelation" in the World Cup, where New Zealand played the supposed minnows in a warm-up match. He said, "Ireland have shown they can knock over big sides. There needs to be some incentive for the (Associate) teams to get the opportunity to play in the World Cup."

During the World Cup, ICC CEO Haroon Lorgat had said that the ICC Board would meet in May to decide on the qualification format of the 10-team 2015 World Cup. Two days after the final of the 2011 World Cup though, the ICC Board announced that the 2015 tournament would include the ten full members with qualification coming into play only in 2019. Following criticism around the cricket world and a request by the Associates, the ICC has announced that it would "revisit" the decision to shut the Associates out of the 2015 event.

Numerous Associate nations have also reacted angrily to the suggestion that a reduced field for the 50-over World Cup is effectively counter-balanced by the expansion of the World Twenty20 event to 16 teams. However CA remain certain that Twenty20 can be used to grow the game in developing countries, despite its lack of the subtleties available in Test and limited-overs cricket.

"James [Sutherland, CA chief executive] has always argued that ICC Events should be assessed in the full context of the ICC World Cup and ICC Twenty20 World Championship," the spokesman said.

"In keeping the ICC World Cup tight [which is what fans want], it is on the basis that the ICC Twenty20 can be run as a tight event with, say, the top 16. Twenty20 offers the top 16 an ideal chance to develop, progress, develop international success and profile."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • sachin on April 23, 2011, 19:32 GMT

    @NALINWIJ, it doesn't matter how the mediocre matches are spread, they'll still incur losses for the boards & ICC, the bottomline remains i.e. more mediocre teams = more mediocre matches = more loss of revenue for ICC = less ICC funding for the Associates = more dead Associates. Further, I don't think there's any "ethical obligation" on ICC to include Associates, at best, there's an ethical obligation to offer them a fair chance at qualifying for the 9th & 10th place in a 10-team WC, especially since the top Associates are almost on par with Zim & Ban (so called "Test-nations") while WI is also lagging behind the pack at the top. On a side note, I think your suggestion of allowing the top team from both groups to secure a Semifinal berth is worth pondering over, it might add some life to the group-stage which'd lack in a WC with QFs while top 4 (2 from each group) directly qualifying for SFs makes it somewhat "constricted" (for the lack of a better word)

  • nalin on April 23, 2011, 17:02 GMT

    Let us examine the motive behind 10 team format. Matches between test playing nations at prime time=television rating= money. Matches involving associates seldom make money and exclusion of a test playing team or early elimination of teams like India and Pakistan =reduced telivision rating =loss of money.I believe there is an ethical obligation to include the top 2 associates. I have mentioned the solution in a previous entry. 2 groups of 6. 5 rounds of 6 games. 4games with full members as day night=prime time with associates matches at day time. 20 successive day night matches. Top teams go direct to semis and next 2 play the next2 in other group. The qualifying finals- A2vB3, A3vB2 winners play A1 and B1 in semis. The tournament complete in 31 days with 25 day/night=prime time not involving associates and 10 matches involving associates interspersed.You maximise rating but involve associates.

  • Khair ul on April 23, 2011, 11:14 GMT

    Not just that, Bangladesh knocked out India in a world cup, beat Pakistan, beat England IN England, whitewashed New Zealand and whitewashed West Indies in West Indies, and beat all the test playing countries at least once. And against Ireland, well the record says they beat them quite a few times, and will still beat them more times than not, even thought Ireland have improved significantly and may well be able to knock out India or any other country. I am strongly of the opinion that the ten (or twelve) top ranked teams should play in WC. I can also accept playout amongst teams to determine which top 10 or 12 teams should make it to WC as long as it does not exempt India or Australia or any other team from the playoffs. At the moment it seems only these two teams are shy about playoffs including all top teams; no other team seems to have any such hesitation.

  • Dummy4 on April 23, 2011, 3:56 GMT

    @enigma77543: The Bangladesh should blame the weather, as Imran Khan won the cup even after getting a.o. for 75 against ENG. Just calling a whitewash a fluke tells me how much cricketing knowledge most posters bear here.

  • AARON HUSSEIN on April 22, 2011, 21:11 GMT

    No automatic selection, no ICC rating system... we want fair cricket with fair qualification in CWC 2015 only through qualification matches arround the world, like FIFA WC Football.

  • Dummy4 on April 22, 2011, 16:17 GMT

    Then dont call it for world cup it shuld be then ten teams cup ???????????????

  • Eddison on April 22, 2011, 15:10 GMT

    If co-hosts Australia want the 2015 World Cup to be contested by the 10 teams that most deserve to be there, I feel including 3-5 not member associates at the cost of full members is a better idea as the bottom 3-4 full member teams are too incompetent for WC. The top associate members in their place will be a better bet anyday. The full members also should put in efforts to mantain their position and respect. They should not take their positions for granted. Number of teams may not make a difference but associate members do.

  • duncan on April 22, 2011, 12:23 GMT

    i find it incredulous that ICC didn't see this coming. just shows how far their heads are up their you-know-whats. unless they come to a compromise, probably involving 12 teams, the associates will take them to the CFAIS, THEY WILL NOT HAVE A CHOICE, anything else is suicide, & i will be utterly gobsmacked, & it will a very dark day for ALL sport, if they lose.

  • sachin on April 22, 2011, 8:15 GMT

    @WestIndies1987, the real reason why cricket will never become a global sport is because most of the world finds 7-8 hour-long sport very boring & tedious & true cricket-fans should be ok with that because the only way it might become global is if T20-cricket becomes the main format & ODIs & Tests are all but killed but obviously no true cricket-fan would want that because T20 is hardly cricket, it resembles more & more to Baseball so T20 fans would be better off switching to Baseball anyway, if ball-whacking is all they want to see. @microno1seanand, why does it matter whether OZ is a rich or poor nation? Cricket isn't sponsored by the state to cover their losses, CA must do it for themselves so they (& every other board & ICC) are doing business & obviously they want to make a profit so that they can support cricket in OZ. May be you, Rohit & others here wanting more mediocre teams should contribute a few million to ICC so that they can cover losses of matches involving minnows.

  • sachin on April 22, 2011, 8:10 GMT

    @reyme - "I have a feeling most people including the author has no clue about what BD has done in last 2 years. BD whitewashed WI in WI, Whitewashed NZ 4-0, Won all series vs. Ireland, Beat Zim in all series comprehensively, Beat Eng in Eng. BD is as good as NZ, if not better." WI team they beat was a crap 2XI full of newbies, not the main WI team. NZ was a big fluke, current NZ team has been very inconsistent & unsettled but if all the people who understand cricket were to bet their real money on a brand new Ban V NZ series, I'm sure even the most enthusiastic of Bangladeshis would NOT bet on Ban winning it. Ban are STILL a minnow, may be marginally (& only marginally) better than other minnows but a minnow nonetheless. NZ reached semifinals of the WC while Ban were knocked out in the first round (surprise surprise, just like all the other minnows), got wrapped up for 58 against a team they were supposedly "better" than (& surprise surpise, it was a FULL-STRENGTH WI team).

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