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ICC considers 12-team World Cup for 2015

Daniel Brettig and Nagraj Gollapudi

April 4, 2011

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Michael Clarke speaks to reporters prior to leaving for Bangladesh, April 4, 2011
Michel Clarke, like several other international cricketers, wants to see Associates at the World Cup © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Michael Clarke | Haroon Lorgat
Series/Tournaments: ICC Cricket World Cup

Twelve teams may contest the 2015 World Cup as the ICC is considering a compromise between the 14 teams of 2011 and a tight 10-team model currently on the table for the tournament's next edition.

The ICC's executive council is meeting in Mumbai on Monday and on the agenda is the format for the next World Cup, to be hosted by Australia and New Zealand, following the rousing success of this year's edition, which was won by India.

Following much discussion of the 10-team tournament favoured by organisers, and an outcry by Associate nations given their likely exclusion, the ICC may now be leaning towards a 12-team event, possibly with two pools of six teams followed by quarter-finals, semis and the final.

"At the moment it is still 10 teams but we are discussing the 12-team option," an ICC official told ESPNcricinfo.

The same format was used in the 1996 tournament, co-hosted by India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka and won by the Sri Lankans. Another path is to choose a round-robin model where each team plays each other once before the semi-finals, as was the case when Australia and New Zealand hosted in 1992.

Prior to his team's departure for Bangladesh, new Australian captain Michael Clarke reiterated the desire of most international players to see Associate nations given their chance on the limited-overs game's biggest stage.

"I really enjoy seeing the minnow teams getting an opportunity to be honest, I guess it's up to the ICC to work out whatever they think is for the betterment of the game, that's obviously their priority," Clarke said in Sydney.

"For me I think the two World Cups I've been involved in have been fantastic, it certainly does feel between games like you have a long period, when you've got six and seven days between games, but I've enjoyed seeing some of the minnow teams or all of the minnow teams play.

"I think we've seen throughout this World Cup that there were a few upsets and some great cricket played, so I just hope and am certain that the ICC are looking to improve the game of cricket."

Haroon Lorgat, the ICC chief executive, said the executive council meeting would finalise much of the discussions surrounding the next event, plans for which are already being mapped out by the Cricket Australia and New Zealand Cricket."The length of 50 overs will find certain teams out but I think there are 10 teams that can seriously compete in that format," Lorgat told Sky Sports News. "That's a debate we are still finalising; in fact the board meeting over the next two days will consider that and will determine which teams will play in the 2015 World Cup."

Ireland were the best Associate nation at each of the past two tournaments, and their chief executive Warren Deutrom had said the deferral of a decision on the tournament format until after the 2011 event was a sensible one.

"I think that is the right decision," Deutrom said. "What it does is allow the ICC board to make a decision based on all the evidence, rather than no evidence whatsoever. We are pleased because if two or three teams do perform well during the group stages, that does provide an option to look favourably on qualification, and to see if the number of teams is quite right."

Daniel Brettig and Nagraj Gollapudi are assistant editors at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Meety on (April 5, 2011, 1:59 GMT)

The rug's been pulled out of that dream! @world_champion - yes! I've been championing that idea for a while now. You would get on average 2 top sides & 2 minnows in each division, so the minnows have a chance of winning at least one game, the good sides should all still advance. I would have the Groups based on Rankings with a bias to the top 2 sides. The Final 8 would be ranked on performance in the Pool matches so that the highest ranked losers in the QTR Finals get a 2nd chance against the lowest ranked winners for the right to play in the Semi Final. Had this system been used in the 2011 W/Cup we would of had a semi-final play off between SL v SA & NZ v Oz for the right to play India & Pakistan in the Semis, with Eng & W Indies having been eliminated.

Posted by   on (April 4, 2011, 18:18 GMT)

The 1992 format with 10 teams, each playing against each other is the best in my opinion. If 12 nations are to compete, then the super-six format of 1999 and 2003 is an ideal one. The quarter-final format becomes a 7-match tournament effectively, and all the 8 top test teams are virtually assured a place in the next round, where there is a matter of one big day. To be honest, West Indies in 1996 and New Zealand in 2011 were not worthy of being in the semifinals, given their performance in the group stages.

Posted by   on (April 4, 2011, 15:26 GMT)

I think 12 nations is fine. But more importantly I think the bottom two of the Test playing nations should also go thru playoffs. Just because ur team got into the Test doesnt mean they should automatically be a part of the WC. Bangladesh and WI for example in this edition were definitely lack lustre and with a bit more of encouragement the other associates might just fancy a chance against them. This will also make them more competitive during the season.

Posted by Rakesh_Sharma on (April 4, 2011, 15:16 GMT)

Cricket must not have quarter finals. It makes a joke of league matches. Quarter final make sense as in football where there are more than 25 strong teams. There must be league robin round in each group A and B and semifinals or super six. At present everyone knows that barring Bangladesh and Zimbabwe all other 8 teams will qualify for quarters. so quarters takes of the unpredictability and makes the league matches not important.

Posted by   on (April 4, 2011, 15:09 GMT)

The new Format of the ICC for the next world cup 2015 should be Afghanistan and Iresh team these two team done well in the last five years Afghanistan must play with the top teams also they have one day stutus as well ICC must get a few team of the top of there accosscited group and afflitied group Irsh is the top on Accossted and Afghanistan also the top 10 teams is not good to play for next world cup

Posted by yohandf1984 on (April 4, 2011, 15:05 GMT)

A format i feel good . 16 teams will play Group A,B,C,D . Top 2 teams of each will emerge to Group E,F . Then semi finals and finale. Participation of 16 teams will assist in popularizing cricket among world giving more oppertunities. Associates will play only 3 games each unles they win against Test nations (comparing to 6 @2011) No of Total matches are 39 and event can be concluded within a month .( 49 maches in 44 days @2011) Top 8 teams will get 3 oppertunities b4 Qualifying to Semi s (Give another chance to teams like SA ). And no of mismatches are less (Only 14 mismatches comparing to 18 @2011) . Hope Cricinfo will foraward to ICC for consideration. Gus plz comment

Posted by   on (April 4, 2011, 15:05 GMT)

1992 format was best.. Get to see more good games

Posted by s4052404 on (April 4, 2011, 15:03 GMT)

Why is cricket the only sport to not follow the traditional and extremely successful pools/qf/sf/f format?? Look at rugby - about the same number of competitive teams (about 8), but 20 teams in the world cup!! AND rugby world cup is much much more successful and higher profile than the cricket wc. Cricket wc should be much bigger but isnt, mainly because of continuing with these bizarre formats. Super 8s or 6s are Terrible! Why? Because if an associate team makes it thru - like Ire in the last, instead of having one big game to celebrate as an achievement and maybe cause an upset, you have 5! Which decreases the chance of progression and causes more lopsided matches. Please ICC, regain 16 teams, 4 pools of 4. Then straight to QF etc. The minnows will only have 3 each unless they win which is rewarded by a qf (a big event) Spread the game with a conventional and exciting format like EVERY other sport! I cant for the life of me understand why this option isnt considered.

Posted by raman22feb1988 on (April 4, 2011, 15:01 GMT)

>> Another path is to choose a round-robin model where each team plays each other once before the semi-finals, as was the case when Australia and New Zealand hosted in 1992.

There were only nine teams during that 1992 world cup, am I right? Do you actually mean within the 1999 world cup?

Posted by muski on (April 4, 2011, 14:56 GMT)

All this talk of associate nations being given a chance at World Cups does not make sense if they do not get opportunity to play stronger nations like India, Sri Lanka or South Africa on regular basis. Most of their sides are NOT made of cricketing professionals and guys may get back to being Police Officers or farmers. Unless the ICC makes a schedule for such teams in the cricketing calendar, nothing much is going to change for these teams. A Kevin O Brien here and a Ten Deoschate there will not help their cricketing cause. Maybe India could take a lead and invite these guys to play a three off series-maybe by resting some of the seniors like the last years trip to Zimbabwe. That way we can starting grooming youngsters for for the 2015 world cup.

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