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News that the ICC has approved a reduction in the number of teams at the 50-over World Cup and an enlarged World Twenty20 event has caused a predictable storm of protest from some quarters.
But the ICC has been vague about what a ten-country World Cup this means. It has not ruled out Associates taking part but as that would mean a qualifying event, it seems unlikely. But for now, we can only wait.
As some kind of sweetner, the World Twenty20 event will be expanded to 16 teams from the 2012 tournament. The success of smaller nations like Netherlands and Afghanistan in Twenty20 cricket prompted the expansion of the tournament, which will continue to have the women's event played alongside it.
What most people agree on is that the current World Cup is overly bloated. But will the ICC be forced by its more powerful members to ditch the concept that the tournament is genuinely open to all and just ensure the cosy club run by the Full Members becomes even cosier?
Martin Williamson is executive editor of ESPNcricinfo and managing editor of ESPN Digital Media in Europe, the Middle East and AfricaFeeds: Martin Williamson
© ESPN EMEA Ltd.
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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.