World Cup March 18, 2008

Associates' World Cup plans scuppered

Cricinfo has learned that attempts to broker a compromise over plans to reduce the number of Associate countries at the 2011 World Cup by introducing an eight-team pre-qualifier were scuppered by the host countries, led by India.
38

Cricinfo has learned that attempts to broker a compromise over plans to reduce the number of Associate countries at the 2011 World Cup by introducing an eight-team pre-qualifier were scuppered by the host countries, led by India.

India were the driving force behind the initial proposal to cut the number of Associates at the tournament from six to four and a restructuring of the competition format, a move ostensibly to counter criticism that the 2007 event was too bloated. But this was strongly opposed by leading Associates who argued that it was against the ICC policy of spreading the game globally.

At the ICC executives meeting in Kuala Lumpar last month, some Full Member countries singled out the performance of Bermuda at the 2007 World Cup as an example of how there was not, in their opinion, the strength in depth to support the inclusion of six Associates. One senior administrator countered by pointing out that there were also many poor performances by senior countries such as England and West Indies leading to many equally one-sided and meaningless matches.

Seven alternative proposals were put forward and this was narrowed down to two – the publicised 14-team format and an alternative tabled by the Associates which was a 16-team format. The latter would have meant that the six leading associates plus Bangladesh and Zimbabwe would have played in a first-round qualifier before the tournament proper, with the top four progressing into a 12-team event. That would, so they argued, have led to a more meaningful cricket for the Associates as well as a shorter and more competitive World Cup.

The plan was well received by a few Full Members, but when it came to a vote the proposal was rejected. It is believed that the Indian representatives lobbied hard to have anything other than the 14-team plan put forward by the BCCI turned down.

It is now expected that the 14-team format will be rubber stamped when the ICC board meets in Dubai next weekend.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • jahid on March 23, 2008, 17:28 GMT

    India is really scared of knocking out again in next world cup. they were kicked ridiculously by youth of Bangladesh and their world cup hope became bad dream. they were screaming very very loudly as champion, their attitude was horrible, their behavior was stupid, they had no sense, etc etc etc. they got the best beating as they lose to Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. their shout turned as cry...lol. they were slapped hard and got serious shame. now, why m i attacking India???? its because reducing of teams in the world cup is India's plan. they forced ICC to reduce teams and change the world cup format as they were knocked out from the 1st round in previous world cup. as, India is a cricket economy ICC is bound to hear what India says. so, they changed world cup format..... jahid ...

  • fromefrog on March 20, 2008, 12:15 GMT

    CF there is no chance at this moment (or for the forseeable future) of any of the Assoicate Nations emulating the Argentinian Rugby Team & reaching the buisness end of a CWC the whole structure of the sport is weighted against them.

  • fromefrog on March 20, 2008, 12:08 GMT

    Mike Perera - No its not a practical solution, but i fear it may turn out to be the only one available. its the signals this sends out that alarm me the most. the LOCAL ORGANISING COMMITTEE has decided how the most important event in the sport is handled, not the ICC.i can't think of any other world governing body that would allow this to happen.i think this will be the 7th different format in 10 events,can't we just pick one & stick to it.if the 4 qualifiers have a bad time in 2011 will Aus/NZ only want 2 for 2015. you would think they'd be able to argue that if the CWC2011OC can decide to cut numbers then so should they. it wouldn't be so bad if for example only the semifinalists for the previous tournament were exempt from qualifying,but giving 10 nations(out of 14) "a free pass" is to many, Zimbabwe in particular (we'll leave politics aside for a moment) don't warrant that privilege.

  • NK on March 18, 2008, 22:08 GMT

    Satyajit, it is about the BCCI and they are the real issue. Basically using their powers to get what they want. The ICC had plans to have 16 associates in the 2011 CW but now because of the BCCI it's a different story. Plus if you didn't know, there are over 87 nations outside the test nations that play cricket and over 30 or more outside the test nations play in the world cricket league and most of them are not filled with expats. And it's not about Holland and Bermuda, hell they might not have made it the next time anyway. But that's not the point. The ICC had a decent program for the associates but now have to back down from it because of the BCCI. By 2011 some of them positive result where going to come but they aren't even giving it a chance anymore because of the Indian cricket club(icc)

  • Mike Perera on March 18, 2008, 21:58 GMT

    This may not be a practical suggestion, but seeing as how the BCCI don't really care about expanding the game and the ICC don't seem to eager about it, maybe the Associates should just boycott the World Cup. I realize this could well kill cricket in their respective countries, but it would send a very clear message to the ICC. The PR damage - countries refusing to join the world's biggest cricket party - would be huge. It might appease some of the businessmen in the short term, but good luck with trying to buy into lucrative markets such as China or the United States. An Associate boycott would force the ICC to choose between real, sincere expansion of the game, and remaining on the BCCI's good side.

  • Navin Singh on March 18, 2008, 14:19 GMT

    The ICC wants to encourage more nations playing cricket,yet they are decreasing the number of smaller teams participating in major tournaments [ICC trophy] and now in the world cup. How about if FIFA decreases the number of teams in the football world cup countries like Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Australia, New Zealand [rest of recognised cricket countries now finding their feet in football] feel about this.I guess the same way as Holland, Namibia, Scotland, Denmark etc.

  • Ali on March 18, 2008, 13:53 GMT

    Almost all the comments posted here are better alternatives to the one proposed by the BCCI? Hard to believe that they can actually be that silly, It would be a shame if a round robin of 14 teams is put in place to decide the quarter finalists as that would mean 42 useless matches as the quarter-finalists would already have been decided (more than likely the top 8 test playing nations). The best way i see it is 3 groups of 5 teams and the top 2 going on to super 6's, minnows get their exposure and makes for a healthy second round and few boring matches.

  • richard on March 18, 2008, 9:59 GMT

    I wish the ICC would stop messing with the format..

    1. Stick to 16 teams, if they aren't all 100% competitive now, give them a chance and they soon will; 2. 4 Groups thru to quaters or 4 Groups to 2 groups of 4 into semis; 3. World Cups are about a winner going through undefeated or with maybe 1 loss. That's what makes sports so great that on a given day a true champion can rise above the pressure; 3. There is nothing super about the Super 6s or 8s, especially with only one game a day they should be scrapped forever.

  • Satyajit on March 18, 2008, 8:50 GMT

    Forget about BCCI. Talk about the actual issue. If you want to have a competitive world cup, there is a need to reduce number of participants at the moment. 12 or 14 is a better number as a tleast two of the weakest teams (like Bermuda and Holland) will be out. It's ridiculous to compare it to soccer and talk about 32 teams competing. You know how difficult it is to get into soccer WC even after that. How many countries in world play international level cricket? Not even 15. If you have cricket WC with 16 teams then few of them are not upto the level. To have an associate WC is a welcome idea but please don't include all of them in the real WC. If you take this little further to tests, you know what Bangladesh is doing after many years of test status. The associates may improve but that would take time (and more involvement of people from those countries), until then don't expect to have all of them in WC.

  • David Wijekoon-Perera on March 18, 2008, 6:14 GMT

    If the game is to move forward, the associates need a lot more exposure. As an example, when the ICC was reformed as an international body in 1965, Fiji and the United States were granted status before Sri Lanka, who had a more deserving case. Where are the Fiji and the USA today? Frankly, the BCCI are abrogating their responsibilities and the game is suffering in the region. I agree with Klaas van Noortwijk and the comments he made. The BCCI have become bloated by their own ego and acting in a selfish, tyrannical manner, forgetting the smaller nations that help make up the ICC. It is time they realised it is not all about India, but those who support the game. The IPL explains the BCCI behaviour by banning players playing for the ICL. There are two Irish players in the ICL and what will happen when included in a game against India? It is time India learned from their own growth pains and create a harmonious atmosphere for all countries that make up the ICC family.

  • jahid on March 23, 2008, 17:28 GMT

    India is really scared of knocking out again in next world cup. they were kicked ridiculously by youth of Bangladesh and their world cup hope became bad dream. they were screaming very very loudly as champion, their attitude was horrible, their behavior was stupid, they had no sense, etc etc etc. they got the best beating as they lose to Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. their shout turned as cry...lol. they were slapped hard and got serious shame. now, why m i attacking India???? its because reducing of teams in the world cup is India's plan. they forced ICC to reduce teams and change the world cup format as they were knocked out from the 1st round in previous world cup. as, India is a cricket economy ICC is bound to hear what India says. so, they changed world cup format..... jahid ...

  • fromefrog on March 20, 2008, 12:15 GMT

    CF there is no chance at this moment (or for the forseeable future) of any of the Assoicate Nations emulating the Argentinian Rugby Team & reaching the buisness end of a CWC the whole structure of the sport is weighted against them.

  • fromefrog on March 20, 2008, 12:08 GMT

    Mike Perera - No its not a practical solution, but i fear it may turn out to be the only one available. its the signals this sends out that alarm me the most. the LOCAL ORGANISING COMMITTEE has decided how the most important event in the sport is handled, not the ICC.i can't think of any other world governing body that would allow this to happen.i think this will be the 7th different format in 10 events,can't we just pick one & stick to it.if the 4 qualifiers have a bad time in 2011 will Aus/NZ only want 2 for 2015. you would think they'd be able to argue that if the CWC2011OC can decide to cut numbers then so should they. it wouldn't be so bad if for example only the semifinalists for the previous tournament were exempt from qualifying,but giving 10 nations(out of 14) "a free pass" is to many, Zimbabwe in particular (we'll leave politics aside for a moment) don't warrant that privilege.

  • NK on March 18, 2008, 22:08 GMT

    Satyajit, it is about the BCCI and they are the real issue. Basically using their powers to get what they want. The ICC had plans to have 16 associates in the 2011 CW but now because of the BCCI it's a different story. Plus if you didn't know, there are over 87 nations outside the test nations that play cricket and over 30 or more outside the test nations play in the world cricket league and most of them are not filled with expats. And it's not about Holland and Bermuda, hell they might not have made it the next time anyway. But that's not the point. The ICC had a decent program for the associates but now have to back down from it because of the BCCI. By 2011 some of them positive result where going to come but they aren't even giving it a chance anymore because of the Indian cricket club(icc)

  • Mike Perera on March 18, 2008, 21:58 GMT

    This may not be a practical suggestion, but seeing as how the BCCI don't really care about expanding the game and the ICC don't seem to eager about it, maybe the Associates should just boycott the World Cup. I realize this could well kill cricket in their respective countries, but it would send a very clear message to the ICC. The PR damage - countries refusing to join the world's biggest cricket party - would be huge. It might appease some of the businessmen in the short term, but good luck with trying to buy into lucrative markets such as China or the United States. An Associate boycott would force the ICC to choose between real, sincere expansion of the game, and remaining on the BCCI's good side.

  • Navin Singh on March 18, 2008, 14:19 GMT

    The ICC wants to encourage more nations playing cricket,yet they are decreasing the number of smaller teams participating in major tournaments [ICC trophy] and now in the world cup. How about if FIFA decreases the number of teams in the football world cup countries like Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Australia, New Zealand [rest of recognised cricket countries now finding their feet in football] feel about this.I guess the same way as Holland, Namibia, Scotland, Denmark etc.

  • Ali on March 18, 2008, 13:53 GMT

    Almost all the comments posted here are better alternatives to the one proposed by the BCCI? Hard to believe that they can actually be that silly, It would be a shame if a round robin of 14 teams is put in place to decide the quarter finalists as that would mean 42 useless matches as the quarter-finalists would already have been decided (more than likely the top 8 test playing nations). The best way i see it is 3 groups of 5 teams and the top 2 going on to super 6's, minnows get their exposure and makes for a healthy second round and few boring matches.

  • richard on March 18, 2008, 9:59 GMT

    I wish the ICC would stop messing with the format..

    1. Stick to 16 teams, if they aren't all 100% competitive now, give them a chance and they soon will; 2. 4 Groups thru to quaters or 4 Groups to 2 groups of 4 into semis; 3. World Cups are about a winner going through undefeated or with maybe 1 loss. That's what makes sports so great that on a given day a true champion can rise above the pressure; 3. There is nothing super about the Super 6s or 8s, especially with only one game a day they should be scrapped forever.

  • Satyajit on March 18, 2008, 8:50 GMT

    Forget about BCCI. Talk about the actual issue. If you want to have a competitive world cup, there is a need to reduce number of participants at the moment. 12 or 14 is a better number as a tleast two of the weakest teams (like Bermuda and Holland) will be out. It's ridiculous to compare it to soccer and talk about 32 teams competing. You know how difficult it is to get into soccer WC even after that. How many countries in world play international level cricket? Not even 15. If you have cricket WC with 16 teams then few of them are not upto the level. To have an associate WC is a welcome idea but please don't include all of them in the real WC. If you take this little further to tests, you know what Bangladesh is doing after many years of test status. The associates may improve but that would take time (and more involvement of people from those countries), until then don't expect to have all of them in WC.

  • David Wijekoon-Perera on March 18, 2008, 6:14 GMT

    If the game is to move forward, the associates need a lot more exposure. As an example, when the ICC was reformed as an international body in 1965, Fiji and the United States were granted status before Sri Lanka, who had a more deserving case. Where are the Fiji and the USA today? Frankly, the BCCI are abrogating their responsibilities and the game is suffering in the region. I agree with Klaas van Noortwijk and the comments he made. The BCCI have become bloated by their own ego and acting in a selfish, tyrannical manner, forgetting the smaller nations that help make up the ICC. It is time they realised it is not all about India, but those who support the game. The IPL explains the BCCI behaviour by banning players playing for the ICL. There are two Irish players in the ICL and what will happen when included in a game against India? It is time India learned from their own growth pains and create a harmonious atmosphere for all countries that make up the ICC family.

  • FROMEFROG on March 17, 2008, 15:15 GMT

    scrap all the current tournaments & replace it with an annual World Championship with promotion/relegation between World & Regional level.

  • Greg McAuliffe on March 17, 2008, 14:52 GMT

    The only way to raise the standard of the Associates is to give them access to top level coaching,players and competitions.

    There is a way to do this but it requires the Test playing nations to do more than they are.For me 20/20 and ODI's are going to be the games of the future and the ICC should concentrate in the short term on these two versions of the games for the associate nations.None of the associates are going to play tests any time soon.

    Each of the test playing nations have domestic competitions in all forms of the games and it should be the domestic competitions of the test nations that the ICC should be using to raise the standard of associate nations.

    For example Australia has six State teams that play a 20/20 competition.I would use the 20/20 competition and ask the states to "adopt" an associate nation.That associate nation can train with that state under the guidance of first class coaches and facilities and play a tournament against the other associates.The games can be incorporated into the State 20/20competition as "double headers", ie..played before the states play each other.

    The standard of play of the associates would rise much quicker, and it would give prospective young cricketers from the associates something to strive for. A tour to train and play in a test playing nation.

  • joe shah on March 17, 2008, 11:51 GMT

    Folks, we are critical of the United States when the NBA calls its finals the World Championships and the baseball finals there is called the World Series,yet here we are calling for less teams to be in the Cricket World Cup.If only the test playing nations can participate,it would not be a true World Cup but more akin to the United Nations if only the five veto countries were the only ones allowed a vote.The lesser countries will suffer as they would have no motivation to do well and the truly better players from those countries might even go the way the athletics participants are going, ie transfer their allegiance to Test playing countries.

  • Ajai Banerji on March 17, 2008, 7:51 GMT

    Interesting to see a comment by Klaas van Noortwijk who played for Netherlands in the World Cup.

  • Pratik on March 17, 2008, 2:12 GMT

    Do we really know who the "best 8" teams will be? That being the case, India and Pakistan would have been in the super eights in WI World Cup rather than Ireland and Bangladesh.

    One has to be clear about something - ICC has a champions trophy, and a World Cup. Why have two such world championships for the same form of game? If we are indeed to have two such championships, then lets have one championship (Champions trophy) as an exclusive league containing 8 best teams based on ICC rankings/playoff between the two weakest test teams.

    The World Cup, by its very definition better be global. Hence the need to involve more Associates in this event. At the same time, there is a need to cut down the number of games. Figure out a quarter-final system or a fair super-six or eight or whatever, but cut down the games.

    BTW, if teams in super-sixes don't carry points, then what was the point in topping the group in league stage, a group that surely had some quality opposition?

  • NK on March 16, 2008, 21:24 GMT

    Reddy,There is things one can do. DON'T BOW DOWN TO INDIA. Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka are basically puppet boards of India at the meetings. India isn't bigger than the World. Playing in the world cup doesn't increase the standard but the system does for which one needs the money which comes from the world cup. And this time the standard was going to be higher than 2007 because of the system put in by the ICC for the associates. Teams like Bermuda wasn't going to make it anyway.

  • reddy on March 16, 2008, 20:55 GMT

    Look what happened to Bangladesh after the world cup when India toured. yes India controls cricket. if you don't like it, there is nothing on can do. We don't watch great teams like Bermuda, Ireland and other teams one` sided matches. if a team needs to play in world cup it needs to have standard. don't think playing in one world cup increases the standard

  • no_quiero on March 16, 2008, 9:14 GMT

    Wow. Now BCCI wants to punish the associate countries because of the bad performance of Indian cricket team in the world cup.

  • Jarrod Potter on March 16, 2008, 6:01 GMT

    The minnows should just create their own World Cup.

    The ICC is doing them no favours, and imagine how beneficial it would be to the associates/affiliates to host their own 16 team World Cup.

    Maybe even invite the lower ranked teams that don't get into the Champion's Trophy. Top 4 of these teams go through to the main draw. Hold it 2 years before the real World Cup and you have a formula for success. It won't make money, but if you're not the BCCI, that's not your main goal of playing cricket.

  • Seshan Patamadai on March 15, 2008, 21:45 GMT

    Sharad Pawar is a politician; BCCI is loaded with money. Will cricket remain a sport or a treasure-chest to be manipulated by politicians and their associate businessmen?

    The increasing dominance of the BCCI is a threat to the future of cricket. While it is good that Indian cricket is developing spine and substance, that is not due to any effort of the BCCI. Till 1983, no one took India seriously in one-day cricket. A number of people have pointed out that the 'bully' attitude of the BCCI is a sharp contrast from the way India itself, and then the other sub-continental countries have evolved.

    Soccer has more member countries than the UN and the world cup is the most followed event. If the ICC really wants to promote cricket, encourage more associates, not less!!

  • Roger Burrows, Canada on March 15, 2008, 20:20 GMT

    The problem in the Windies was the organization and the failure of India and Pakistan to live up to their potential, not the failure of Associate teams. If you want to advance the cause of cricket and make it a true "world game", you have to allow the "minnows" to grow and become adult fish. It worked for Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, why not others. Football and Rugby have expanded their World Cups to allow more participation and you don't hear complaints about "minnows". It looks to someone in Canada that India in particular wants to take over control of cricket by bullying lesser sub-continent countries and setting up a rival league to siphon off the top players. Shame on them!

  • Sohrab on March 15, 2008, 14:07 GMT

    I think that the quality of cricket should not suffer as a result of more countries participating and making the tournament a flop show. How far has Holland gone or Kenya or Namibia or Canada ..... Let there be a 2020 WC and more countries in it.

  • Cuen Lucas on March 15, 2008, 11:35 GMT

    Some good points by everybody.

    The whole problem centers around the "super"8's (although it's anything BUT super), it seems that that round was designed simply to extract as much T.V. money as possible, whilst offering very little entertainment and excitement.

    It wouldn't surprise me if you took away that round and replaced it with knockout rounds, you would find that you could actually ADD more teams and still come out with a tournament that's a couple days shorter.

    I agree with Peter Della Penna and Chris Owen, none of this has anything to do with the performance of the minnows, this is all about politics and greed.

    It's shameful that the ICC has become so obsessed with money that it's forgotten what the money is all about, expanding cricket globally, and letting non test teams play on the biggest stage is part of that.

    Perhaps the ICC should re-read it's own mandate, because this is shameful.

  • Binodbikash/ Scotland on March 15, 2008, 9:55 GMT

    If ICC takes the word of BCCI in deciding every matter, ICC should not exixt and let BCCI decide every matter. I understand BCCI is a big board but ICC is even bigger. If ICC opts to minimise the number of associates from World Cup, they would not be doing any favour to Cricket but instead they will be killing the game. People in countries like Bermuda, Nepal, Argentina will stop playing cricket, if they minimize the number. What is the highest reward for a player playing for Nepal if they do not get chance to play in World Cup. I am totally against this. I believe Cricket world cup should be like Football world cup. Football is global sport and Cricket is merely a commonwealth sport till now. Increase the number to 32, and make the teams play like in football world cup. 8 group of 4 team each and 2 team qualifying from each group, followed by Knock Outs. That will popularise cricket better.

  • akash lohia on March 15, 2008, 8:45 GMT

    proposal of quarter finals is pathetic to say the least as it make the entire round robin round useless. we all know who are the top 8 teams and who will qualify. I think Super 6 is the ideal way to go about . we can start with 15 team divided into three groups. top two team from each group qualifying to Super 6. this will ensure maximum participation from associate countries in groups stages where each of them playing 4 games each. further each group will be having 3 good teams which will make the exciting prelims as only two of them will qualify to next stage.

  • Henish on March 15, 2008, 8:13 GMT

    Looks like ICC is doing really well spreading their Cricket Sport, by reducing the Associates. Good job ICC, not!!!!!. Are you kidding me I thought ICC wanted Associated to give more exposure and competition, some Associate did give hard fought match against leading nation last CWC. ICC is just damaging the game. Please help USA CRICKET!!! in need of help

  • Hubert M Smythe Cayman Islands on March 15, 2008, 2:14 GMT

    The present format is good and should continue as 16 teams is a better format and there should be a mini world cup for the associates members or an associate 20/20.

  • NK on March 15, 2008, 1:43 GMT

    I'm really tired of how world cricket is bowing down to the Indian Cricket Control (ICC), might as well have stuck with Imperial Cricket Council.

  • Nikhil on March 15, 2008, 0:39 GMT

    I don't like the idea of 14 teams whittling down to 8 team quarterfinal knockout round. That is the reason the super-sixes in '99 was created. The original super-sixes was not thought out properly, but it made sure the "money" teams were present. A better idea is to bring back super-sixes with 6 teams in groups of 3. No points roll-over, everyone starts from zero and have the three teams in each group play against each other. It will be a fair contest and the chances are that the 4 best teams progress to the semi-final round. The overhead will only be 2 matches, but it will be a good problem to have because those two matches will be played by 4 very good teams. This will ensure spectator turn-out at the ground, a lot of viewers on tv and hence good money for the organizers, more than what they can make by having a lot of meaningless matches between bad teams.

  • Sandeep on March 15, 2008, 0:08 GMT

    I strongly object to the proposal put forward by BCCI. They are probably getting a bit too bullish these days( forget Australian tour, that seemed like a forced situation..but ICL aint, neither is this). Yes, India is the financial hub of this game, but in the future it might be challenged, especially if the European teams get through to highest quality in spite of the opposition by BCCI. And in those days these acts by BCCI might come back to bite. But forgetting all those its still hard to digest that someone wants all the 'poor' out of this (cricketing) world; Give them a chance to improve..they arnt gonna improve much unless they get a chance to be part of these high level stages. It wouldn't hurt to have lots more than 8 'good' cricketing nations !

  • Marcus on March 15, 2008, 0:04 GMT

    I like the alternative proposal put forward by the Associates. This would not only allow the Associates to play against relatively strong opposition and raise the profile of the game in their countries, but it would also reduce the number of one-sided matches in the World Cup proper. Unfortunately, if the idea didn't come from the BCCI, then the BCCI doesn't want anything to do with it, and the ICC just caves in. Hopefully this idea will be put into place in the next WC.

  • Pratik on March 14, 2008, 21:01 GMT

    The format in WI was stupid. There should be 16 teams, 4 groups, followed by knockout rounds directly rather than the idiotic super sixes and super eights. The only thing that super eights etc do, apart from unnecessarily prolonging the tournament, is to reinstate the fact that ICC is being run by clowns.

  • Peter Della Penna on March 14, 2008, 21:01 GMT

    Just another example of the stranglehold the BCCI has on the game. India embarrassed themselves in the last World Cup and instead of fielding a more focused, competitive team with a serious attitude, the solution is to eliminate any opportunities in 2011 for the types of teams who knocked them out in 2007.

    Sharad Pawar is the lead puppetmaster and he pulls the strings of Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe to get votes and to get his way. It's an absolute farce.

  • Balaji on March 14, 2008, 20:06 GMT

    Its a shame that ICC is reducing the no. of teams to 14. The problem with the Caribbean WC was the 4 team round robin groups which forced stupid teams like India and Pakistan (which always find ways to fall between stools) to go out fairly early. 8 team ODI champions trophy, 16 team world cup and a 24 team Twenty20 world cup will help popularize the game world wide. Some 32 teams play in the Football World Cup finals and even Hockey has been popular enough that teams now have to play very competitive qualifiers to get into Olympics. And talking of Olympics, can you believe that 1 billion Indians cannot care less that their most passionate sport (Cricket) is not part of Olympics, Common wealth, Asian and not even SAFF games?!

  • Chris Owen on March 14, 2008, 18:58 GMT

    I thought the West Indies World Cup had one of the better formats for a while. The issue was bloat was the time taken to play all the matches, not the number of match themselves. But because India made the final in 2003 and got knocked out in the pool stages in 2007, the BCCI has demanded a return to the previous format, conveniently forgetting all the problems with the South African tournament (Kenya in the semi-finals anyone?). India and Pakistan have no one but themselves to blame for getting knocked out in 2007 - all they had to do was not fail twice in the pool stages. Instead Ireland and Bangladesh get punished for achieving beyond expectations. Why bother inviting the Associates at all if you don't want them to succeed?

  • MM on March 14, 2008, 18:45 GMT

    The CWC should be limited to 10 teams, round robin. This would result in a much more meaningful tournament.

    Here's an idea:

    - Identify the 16 potential teams for the CWC. - 6 teams automatically qualify for the CWC (e.g. holders, hosts, top rankings, etc) - The remaining 10 are divided into 2 groups. - Each group plays a round-robin tournament (to be held in associate nations) around 6-12 months before the CWC. - The top 2 in each tournament join the 6 teams already qualified.

    Minnows get a good chance to qualify, two new exciting tournaments are created, and each match in the CWC is crucial! For the ICC, it means more $$$ (their #1 concern), more competition, more viewers, more travelers. For the fans - more meaningful matches!

    There are other tournaments - Champions Trophy, Twenty20 WC, etc. where Associates can get involved. But the CWC should be the crown jewel, and only the best should take part.

    BTW, the proposed format of quarter-finals is pathetic! ICC/boards need brains.

  • Balaji on March 14, 2008, 18:13 GMT

    Its a shame that ICC is reducing the no. of teams to 14. The problem with the Caribbean WC was the 4 team round robin groups which forced stupid teams like India and Pakistan (which always find ways to fall between stools) to go out fairly early. 8 team ODI champions trophy, 16 team world cup and a 24 team Twenty20 world cup will help popularize the game world wide. Some 32 teams play in the Football World Cup finals and even Hockey has been popular enough that teams now have to play very competitive qualifiers to get into Olympics. And talking of Olympics, can you believe that 1 billion Indians cannot care less that their most passionate sport (Cricket) is not part of Olympics, Common wealth, Asian and not even SAFF games?!

  • Klaas-jan van Noortwijk on March 14, 2008, 14:54 GMT

    I remember countries like Sri lanka, Zimbabwe, Kenya and Bangladesh fighting for a place in the World Cup and they are regular participants now. Sri Lanka even won the tournament in 1996! Countries like Ireland (who have done very well last time), Scotland, Holland and Canada have all given good performances during their World Cup champaigns. Yes, the last WC took too long. So make it shorter. Yes, Bermuda may not have been an ideal example of how the minnows can perform. But have a look at the bigger picture: Compared to 10-15 years ago the "minnows" have improved significantly and are becoming more and more forces to be reckoned with. It is a shame that some Indian narcissistic egotists are walking away from their responsibilities and forget to be creative in order to bring about a compact tournament which exposes the talented minnows to top class cricket and also gives them the opportunity to shine and cause upsets from time to time. An most importantly: to expand the game globally!

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • Klaas-jan van Noortwijk on March 14, 2008, 14:54 GMT

    I remember countries like Sri lanka, Zimbabwe, Kenya and Bangladesh fighting for a place in the World Cup and they are regular participants now. Sri Lanka even won the tournament in 1996! Countries like Ireland (who have done very well last time), Scotland, Holland and Canada have all given good performances during their World Cup champaigns. Yes, the last WC took too long. So make it shorter. Yes, Bermuda may not have been an ideal example of how the minnows can perform. But have a look at the bigger picture: Compared to 10-15 years ago the "minnows" have improved significantly and are becoming more and more forces to be reckoned with. It is a shame that some Indian narcissistic egotists are walking away from their responsibilities and forget to be creative in order to bring about a compact tournament which exposes the talented minnows to top class cricket and also gives them the opportunity to shine and cause upsets from time to time. An most importantly: to expand the game globally!

  • Balaji on March 14, 2008, 18:13 GMT

    Its a shame that ICC is reducing the no. of teams to 14. The problem with the Caribbean WC was the 4 team round robin groups which forced stupid teams like India and Pakistan (which always find ways to fall between stools) to go out fairly early. 8 team ODI champions trophy, 16 team world cup and a 24 team Twenty20 world cup will help popularize the game world wide. Some 32 teams play in the Football World Cup finals and even Hockey has been popular enough that teams now have to play very competitive qualifiers to get into Olympics. And talking of Olympics, can you believe that 1 billion Indians cannot care less that their most passionate sport (Cricket) is not part of Olympics, Common wealth, Asian and not even SAFF games?!

  • MM on March 14, 2008, 18:45 GMT

    The CWC should be limited to 10 teams, round robin. This would result in a much more meaningful tournament.

    Here's an idea:

    - Identify the 16 potential teams for the CWC. - 6 teams automatically qualify for the CWC (e.g. holders, hosts, top rankings, etc) - The remaining 10 are divided into 2 groups. - Each group plays a round-robin tournament (to be held in associate nations) around 6-12 months before the CWC. - The top 2 in each tournament join the 6 teams already qualified.

    Minnows get a good chance to qualify, two new exciting tournaments are created, and each match in the CWC is crucial! For the ICC, it means more $$$ (their #1 concern), more competition, more viewers, more travelers. For the fans - more meaningful matches!

    There are other tournaments - Champions Trophy, Twenty20 WC, etc. where Associates can get involved. But the CWC should be the crown jewel, and only the best should take part.

    BTW, the proposed format of quarter-finals is pathetic! ICC/boards need brains.

  • Chris Owen on March 14, 2008, 18:58 GMT

    I thought the West Indies World Cup had one of the better formats for a while. The issue was bloat was the time taken to play all the matches, not the number of match themselves. But because India made the final in 2003 and got knocked out in the pool stages in 2007, the BCCI has demanded a return to the previous format, conveniently forgetting all the problems with the South African tournament (Kenya in the semi-finals anyone?). India and Pakistan have no one but themselves to blame for getting knocked out in 2007 - all they had to do was not fail twice in the pool stages. Instead Ireland and Bangladesh get punished for achieving beyond expectations. Why bother inviting the Associates at all if you don't want them to succeed?

  • Balaji on March 14, 2008, 20:06 GMT

    Its a shame that ICC is reducing the no. of teams to 14. The problem with the Caribbean WC was the 4 team round robin groups which forced stupid teams like India and Pakistan (which always find ways to fall between stools) to go out fairly early. 8 team ODI champions trophy, 16 team world cup and a 24 team Twenty20 world cup will help popularize the game world wide. Some 32 teams play in the Football World Cup finals and even Hockey has been popular enough that teams now have to play very competitive qualifiers to get into Olympics. And talking of Olympics, can you believe that 1 billion Indians cannot care less that their most passionate sport (Cricket) is not part of Olympics, Common wealth, Asian and not even SAFF games?!

  • Peter Della Penna on March 14, 2008, 21:01 GMT

    Just another example of the stranglehold the BCCI has on the game. India embarrassed themselves in the last World Cup and instead of fielding a more focused, competitive team with a serious attitude, the solution is to eliminate any opportunities in 2011 for the types of teams who knocked them out in 2007.

    Sharad Pawar is the lead puppetmaster and he pulls the strings of Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe to get votes and to get his way. It's an absolute farce.

  • Pratik on March 14, 2008, 21:01 GMT

    The format in WI was stupid. There should be 16 teams, 4 groups, followed by knockout rounds directly rather than the idiotic super sixes and super eights. The only thing that super eights etc do, apart from unnecessarily prolonging the tournament, is to reinstate the fact that ICC is being run by clowns.

  • Marcus on March 15, 2008, 0:04 GMT

    I like the alternative proposal put forward by the Associates. This would not only allow the Associates to play against relatively strong opposition and raise the profile of the game in their countries, but it would also reduce the number of one-sided matches in the World Cup proper. Unfortunately, if the idea didn't come from the BCCI, then the BCCI doesn't want anything to do with it, and the ICC just caves in. Hopefully this idea will be put into place in the next WC.

  • Sandeep on March 15, 2008, 0:08 GMT

    I strongly object to the proposal put forward by BCCI. They are probably getting a bit too bullish these days( forget Australian tour, that seemed like a forced situation..but ICL aint, neither is this). Yes, India is the financial hub of this game, but in the future it might be challenged, especially if the European teams get through to highest quality in spite of the opposition by BCCI. And in those days these acts by BCCI might come back to bite. But forgetting all those its still hard to digest that someone wants all the 'poor' out of this (cricketing) world; Give them a chance to improve..they arnt gonna improve much unless they get a chance to be part of these high level stages. It wouldn't hurt to have lots more than 8 'good' cricketing nations !

  • Nikhil on March 15, 2008, 0:39 GMT

    I don't like the idea of 14 teams whittling down to 8 team quarterfinal knockout round. That is the reason the super-sixes in '99 was created. The original super-sixes was not thought out properly, but it made sure the "money" teams were present. A better idea is to bring back super-sixes with 6 teams in groups of 3. No points roll-over, everyone starts from zero and have the three teams in each group play against each other. It will be a fair contest and the chances are that the 4 best teams progress to the semi-final round. The overhead will only be 2 matches, but it will be a good problem to have because those two matches will be played by 4 very good teams. This will ensure spectator turn-out at the ground, a lot of viewers on tv and hence good money for the organizers, more than what they can make by having a lot of meaningless matches between bad teams.