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The ICC has confirmed that the World Cricket League will be expanded from five to eight divisions after the 2009 World Cup Qualifiers.
The WCL was launched in 2007 with the dual aims of providing more meaningful cricket to more Associates and Affiliates, and also giving a direct path which enabled any country to achieve the ultimate goal of playing in the World Cup.
The addition of three more divisions has been made possible by the substantial increase in funding available once the ICC’s new media deal kicks in next year. It is believed that Division Six and Seven will run in 2008 and Division Eight in 2009.
The extra leagues, which should be approved by the ICC when it meets for its annual meeting in Dubai at the end of the month, will be drawn up based on results in regional competitions.
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.