February 21, 2008

Associates

Associates bear the brunt of World Cup decision

Martin Williamson

As revealed by Cricinfo last month, the 2011 World Cup will be shortened and the main victims of the change will be the Associate countries who will have their numbers cut from six to four.

"It is a move we both feared and expected and it's not great news for the Associates," Warren Deutrom, the chief executive of the Irish Cricket Union, told Cricinfo. "Neither is it a great vote of confidence in the ICC's own High Performance Programme.

Click here to tell us what you think of this? Is it the start of the gradual elimination of smaller countries from the World Cup or a necessary and welcome move?

Martin Williamson is executive editor of ESPNcricinfo and managing editor of ESPN Digital Media in Europe, the Middle East and Africa

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Posted by jason williams on (May 13, 2008, 14:58 GMT)

Think it is in just to allow only four associates to participate in the world cup. After all it is the most global tournament in the sport and I think that is how it should be treated it does not make sense. I truly hope the ICC would reconsider for the sake of cricket development

Posted by Daniel Smith on (February 29, 2008, 14:04 GMT)

The problem with the last world cup wasn't the initial group stages it was the dreary Super Eights. It should be 4 groups of 4, with the top two of each group going into the knock-out phase. It's a cup competition not a league.

The only problem with doing what is done in the Rugby and Football versions of a world cup is the reduction in the number of games. Something I guess the ICC don't like because it would mean less money.

Posted by ajaya on (February 27, 2008, 20:01 GMT)

Most associate cricketers are semi-pros at best, people who frequently take time off from their regular jobs to play cricket. Associate boards are cash-strapped and cant afford to pay everyone Recently, the some teams have had to field XIs missing first choice players because they couldn't take time off from their regular jobs.

This situation can only change through continued exposure at the highest level, making it attractive for businesses to support the game As for the qualification process, no, its not just one tournament. There was a 3-tier process for the last WC and a five-tier process planned for the upcoming one. teams who played consistently over a period of 1 to 1 1/2 years got in.

Posted by Marcus on (February 26, 2008, 8:19 GMT)

Well, at least this time they are going to have a proper quarter-final series this time, instead of the bloated Super 6/8 phase. If they were to play 6 associate countries, then I think they certainly need to have a better basis of selecting them based on one tournament, which I think is how they decided it last time (correct me if I'm wrong). The six teams chosen should be based on the consistency of their performances over the four years in between World Cups.

Ajaya, as to who would play the associates- well, they already play each other in the Intercontinental Cup. Namibia played in South African domestic cricket (not sure of they still do). Likewise Scotland and Ireland in England. Bermuda could easily do the same thing in the West Indian KFC cup. Then there's the MCC. In short, I think they need to play sustained cricket at high-standard domestic level in order to raise their standards and put in more consistent performances during the World Cup.

Posted by NK on (February 25, 2008, 23:59 GMT)

Marcus, theres going to be more or about the same amount of one side games in a group of seven with associates than or as a group of 4 with associates. It's just that the super 8 either cut into two groups or quarterfinals...Money is important for the game but money shouldn't take over the game otherwise we should just listen to w/e India says.

Posted by ajaya on (February 25, 2008, 16:34 GMT)

I'm tired of 'I'm all about the expansion but World Cup should only have the best teams argument'.

People who voice this sentiment are either ignorant of the financial realities of cricketers outside the test countries, or if they know the truth, they are hypocrites. Non-test countries all suffer from the exact same problem: lack of funds due to lack of exposure of the sport. And what better exposure can there be than to play in a world cup?

And please don't tell me they should play more cricket before coming to the world stage. Who exactly is going to pay these associate players the compensation due? Without participation in the world cup, associate boards lose what little income they have.

And btw, if another associate nation manages to knock out another test country this time around, will associate representation be cut to two teams?

Posted by john boon on (February 25, 2008, 1:53 GMT)

The real issue with the last World Cup was the bloated Super 8s stage and nothing else. Should be a straight four groups of four followed by knockout, like all good sports events.

Posted by Marcus on (February 23, 2008, 10:43 GMT)

I'd like to see cricket grow just as much as anyone else, but I think that this is quite a good move. In all honesty, only Kenya and Ireland really looked- well, worthy- of being in the World Cup. I think that it's important for countries to get exposure to better-quality cricket, but I don't see how getting regular humiliations on the world stage is going to help. So just keeping it to four teams taking part in the world cup will reduce the number of one-sided contests, and give each of the associate countries more matches. Meanwhile, the other nations can build up their standards by playing touring sides (eg the MCC in Argentina), A-teams and the Intercontinental Cup.

Posted by Nk on (February 22, 2008, 23:33 GMT)

Srinivas we already have a tournament like that the World Cricket League. But that doesn't mean they shouldn't play in the world cup. other wise the test countries get exposure too, why are they in the World Cup? because we need them in it to be a world cup just like we need the associates. Shorter tournament is need but shorter tournament doesn't mean less teams you can have a short tournament with even more teams. India and Pakistan ONLY care about money which is where the problem lies.

Posted by cricketblues on (February 22, 2008, 14:56 GMT)

There is already a 'mini world cup' for the associates. Last time it was for 12 teams and the top 6 went to the World Cup. I believe it happens again next year. Although it is hard to tell thanks to the disaster that is the ICC website. Teams do not get exposure as a result! Who really knows about that tournament although it has happened for virtually each World Cup?

Exposure only comes from actually getting to the World Cup. That is why it is so important to an associate to get there and why two less means two sides consigned to slip away for six years. The two prior to the World Cup they haven't reached and the four years beyond that to the next one.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Martin Williamson
Executive editor Martin Williamson joined the Wisden website in its planning stages in 2001 after failing to make his millions in the internet boom when managing editor of Sportal. Before that he was in charge of Sky Sports Online and helped launch and run Sky News Online. With a preference for all things old (except his wife and children), he has recently confounded colleagues by displaying an uncharacteristic fondness for Twenty20 cricket. His enthusiasm for the game is sadly not matched by his ability, but he remains convinced that he might be a late developer and perseveres in the hope of an England call-up with his middle-order batting and non-spinning offbreaks. He is now managing editor of ESPN EMEA Digital Group as well as his Cricinfo responsibilities.

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