Qualifying league for 2015 World Cup
The ICC has announced an additional qualifying tournament for the 2015 World Cup, involving Associate and Affiliate nations, to determine the four participants that will join the ten Full Members for the event in Australia and New Zealand. The new tournament essentially gives some of those teams a second chance at qualifying for the World Cup, to which they had initially been barred before the ICC did a volte-face in June. The decision was taken at the ICC's Chief Executives' Committee meeting in London.
The ICC adopted a Development Committee proposal to conduct a 50-overs league involving eight teams, with the top two qualifying for the 2015 World Cup. The eight participants will include the top two sides from the World Cricket League Division 2 as well. The six teams that fail to qualify from the league will be joined by the third and fourth sides from the WCL Division 2 for another qualifying tournament to determine the final two participants in the 2015 World Cup. The venue and date for the qualifying tournaments has not been decided.
"This will provide exciting context for the new 50-over league with every one of the Associate and Affiliate teams able to make their way from division eight of the World Cricket League all the way to the ICC Cricket World Cup finals," Haroon Lorgat, the ICC chief executive said.
Ireland's veteran fast bowler Trent Johnston was full of praise for the ICC's decision. "I think they've got it spot on. The beauty of a league means that more often than not the best two sides will emerge on top. I don't think that was necessarily the case at the ICC Trophy in South Africa in 2009. There's always the fall back for the countries that don't make it with the additional two places at the qualifying tournament in Scotland."
The ICC had reversed its decision to exclude Associates from the 2015 World Cup on June 28, during the ICC's annual conference in Hong Kong.
Regarding the issue of venue accreditation - a new method for evaluating international venues - the CEC agreed to consolidate all the required standards into a new document but did not agree to a system of grading venues.