ICC annual conference June 28, 2011

Associates included in 2015 World Cup


The ICC has reversed its decision on excluding Associates from the 2015 World Cup, which will now comprise 14 teams including four Associates as it was in the 2011 edition. The decision to reinstate the Associates, which was taken on the third day of the ICC's annual conference in Hong Kong, is a reversal of the ICC's heavily criticised move to restrict the 2015 tournament to the Full Members.

The ICC has, however, reduced the number of teams in the World Twenty20s in 2012 and 2014 from 16 to 12 (ten Full Members and two Associates).

It also spelled out the qualification process it had announced for the 2019 World Cup; there will be ten teams in the tournament, with the top-eight ranked sides gaining automatic entry and the remaining two spots decided by a new qualification competition. Seen through to the logical process there would, for the first time in World Cup history, be the likelihood of a full member nation being eliminated from the competition before its start.

The decision to exclude Associates from the 2015 edition was made shortly after the 2011 World Cup final. It sparked a wave of protests, especially since Ireland, who are the leading Associate team, had performed creditably in the competition, upsetting England and competing in most of their other games.

Much like what transpired on the opening day of the ICC conference, when the discussion on the FTP and the DRS was pushed over to the next morning due to the intensity of the debate, discussions on Tuesday around the proposed amendment over the appointment of the ICC president were also postponed to Wednesday. At Tuesday's meeting, the first move towards overturning the Executive Board's original plan to restrict the 2015 World Cup to full member nations came from the BCCI.

The decision was welcomed by a "delighted" Warren Deutrom, the Cricket Ireland chief executive. "The board should be greatly commended in the first instance for agreeing to look again at the matter, and then for being courageous enough to review their original decision - that isn't easy," he told ESPNcricinfo. "As for Ireland, we now have to get our heads down and try to qualify for it [2015 World Cup]!" The Executive Board meeting to finalise the Associates involvement in the World Cup stretched on for close to four hours.

The Associates' delight would not have been shared by the hosts Australia and New Zealand, who supported a shorter, sharper format. By cutting the tournament down to 10 teams, the Executive Board had hoped to repeat 1992's most appreciated World Cup format, in which all teams played each other once. Having the main teams playing nine matches each would have sustained interest and been television-friendly.

As far as why the ICC have not gone for a 12-team tournament, the argument was that a 12-team format means the minimum number of matches each team plays is drastically cut down from nine to five. Fourteen is considered a more acceptable figure, particularly for broadcasters, ensuring that ratings stay high and public attention is retained through a month-long event. Also, it is understood that a 12-team format would have involved only three knockout matches, whereas a 14-nation event offers seven high-interest games starting with a quarter-final stage.

After being part of the Associates shutout in April, bringing the number 14 back into the picture has enabled the BCCI to ensure that a big numerical lobby in the full council is on their side going into the rotation issue on Wednesday. Four non-member teams now having a chance to make it through to world cricket's biggest event. For a special resolution to change the ICC Constitution the requirement is for the support of eight Full Members and 38 out of 50 of the full council.

Sharda Ugra is senior editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Naqibullah on June 29, 2011, 19:19 GMT

    Afghanistan Cricket Board and The Cricket funs are Really Happy about the ICC new decision giving chance to the Associate for 2015 Inshullah Afghanistan would be qualified for 2015 World Cup Thank You ICC

  • Mohan on June 29, 2011, 17:28 GMT

    @GlobalCricketLover, I am an Indian too and I too differ from BCCI's point of view time to time but I never hate them to core. People who hate someone to the core they always remain blind and no sense of reasoning can open their heart. BCCI never hosted BD till today but it would be great if you came up with some research that how many times BCCI refused them to host. R U sure that since BD debut to test cricket they ever requested BCCI to host them. People like you live in conspiracy theories then real world. BCCI pushed the case of BD so they can earn a vote and now they helped other associates for that reason only. You can never be satisfied even India hosted BD 24 test matches till today and in FTP you see another 24 test. Then your hate which is upto the core would have been criticizing BCCI for deliberately choosing a weaker team to host to earn some cheap rating points. We must criticize BCCI for wrong and should appreciate them for right so what if we are from India or an

  • Dummy4 on June 29, 2011, 15:13 GMT

    good decision by the icc to include associates in the world cup, infact it will be 'world' cup now as compared to what they were earlier planning 'champions' cupgood decision by the icc to include associates in the world cup, infact it will be 'world' cup now as compared to what they were earlier planning 'champions' cup

  • g on June 29, 2011, 14:45 GMT

    @Santosh Dasika, I am an India but hate BCCI to the core. You are talking about BCCI doing good? Remember it's BCCI who pushed the case for Bangladesh getting test status - and do you know how many times BCCI hosted Bang? Ans: 0 So, where did their good heart go? They just want more votes to back their case. If you have ever seen BCCI doing a 'genuine' good thing let us know. We have been following cricket for nearly 2 decades and yet to find a single 'genuine' good thing done by them. We needn't support BCCI just bcos we are from India.

  • Dummy4 on June 29, 2011, 11:41 GMT

    @wiseshah, u r dreaming right? Remember Shakib Al Hasan's comments saying bangla team will be in semi-finals, and then they were literally trashed by SA and WI teams in their own backyard?? Never mind those are the forgettable results for the Banglas but the world did not forget them. We Indians felt the same way when u bashed us Indians, and BCCI for any and everything possible. They say what goes around comes around, and this is what they meant. HaHa.

  • Allan on June 29, 2011, 11:38 GMT

    So happy that the initial decision was reversed. Takes a lot of courage and discipline to do that. Congrats ICC. Ireland you made that happen by your great performances.

  • Dummy4 on June 29, 2011, 11:26 GMT

    Funny how people are always waiting to bash BCCI, however when BCCI does something good, no one is willing to acknowledge the fact. This reeks of bigotry and hypocrisy. Anyways, I am happy there is "WORLD" competing for the WC 2015.

  • Dummy4 on June 29, 2011, 11:07 GMT

    I am realy happy with the decision of ICC regarding Associates for the next cricket worldcup of 2015, they can now enhance their skills and experience when play against seniors and that is the best way of making cricket one of the popular sport of world.

  • Cricket Fan on June 29, 2011, 10:41 GMT

    14 teams for ODI world cup is a good decision. But We need 16 teams for T20 World cup

  • Harit on June 29, 2011, 9:10 GMT

    If you're going to have a qualification for the world cup, then why shouldn't all countries have to go through it? It works in football where the only country that doesn't have to qualify is the host. Then it's a true meritocracy and the added bonus is that a whole lot of minnows get exposure to high quality opponents as a part of the qualifying process...

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