World Cup March 19, 2008

Associates lose out in World Cup revamp

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.

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 Africa

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