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As widely expected, the ICC executive board approved proposals to reduce the number of Associates participating at the 2011 World Cup from six to four.
This was done, so the ICC claimed, to reduce the length of an event which many considered to be too bloated in 2007 from 47 days to 38.
The ICC's 10 Full Members automatically qualify and they will be joined by the top four teams from next years World Cup Qualifiers in Dubai. As thing stands, this means that Ireland have to qualify for a tournament they reached the Super Sixes at last time, while Zimbabwe, who are below them in the official ICC One-Day Rankings, do not.
Alternative proposals, including one which would have involved a pre-qualifying tournament featuring the top six Associates as well as Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, were earlier rejected by the ICC's chief executives committee.
Martin Williamson is executive editor of ESPNcricinfo and managing editor of ESPN Digital Media in Europe, the Middle East and AfricaFeeds: Martin Williamson
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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.