ICC news April 4, 2011

ICC confirms 10 teams for next two World Cups


The ICC has confirmed that the next two World Cups will be 10-team events. The 2015 edition of the premier 50-over tournament will be co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand, and the 2019 World Cup will be played in England. Haroon Lorgat, the ICC's chief-executive, hinted that the 1992 format could be brought back, wherein all teams play each other in a round-robin league, and the top four make it to the semi-finals.

"We haven't quite started on designing the format," Lorgat said. "I seem to recall that in 1992 it was a 10-team event [nine, in fact], so there is a chance that we might replicate that. That is work that will commence perhaps not long from today [Monday]."

The recently concluded World Cup, which has been universally hailed as a success, featured 14 teams, and the league stage was played in two groups of seven each, with the top eight playing the quarter-finals. The trimming of the event basically means that a team such as Ireland, which brought a lot of value to the two previous World Cups, will not be a part of the next World Cup. To compensate, the World Twenty20 has been expanded to 16 teams, giving six Associate or Affiliate members a chance to play in a premier world event every two years, but no matter how well they perform there, they will not be part of the next 50-over World Cup.

For 2019, though, there will be a qualification competition, the nature of which is yet to be determined. It is likely that the last two places will be up for grabs in that competition. After the 2019 event, a relegation and promotion system will be introduced to the newly conceptualised ODI league. That then will take care of the qualification.

The ratification of this proposal, which has been criticised by all Associates, has drawn strong reaction from Ireland. Cricket Ireland's chief, Warren Deutrom, told ESPNcricinfo: "It's nothing short of outrageous." Lorgat, though, said that the length of the tournament with 14 teams and the ICC's view that 10 is the ideal number of competitors for the 50-over World Cup were the major factors in the decision.

"We have always wanted to try to be as compact as possible," he said. "That is not the only reason why it is a 10-team event. We also believe that in 50-over cricket, there are 10 teams that will make for good competition. That is part of the reason as well."

About Ireland's improvement, Lorgat stayed positive, and also sought credit for their progress over the last two World Cups. "We have got initiatives in place to focus on the development of the game, and more particularly to try and upgrade the standards of play with respect to what we call the high-performing countries," he said.

"We have got a programme in place. I think you ought to credit the fact that the way Ireland is now performing is a consequence of that. Similarly, Netherlands have improved. To some extent you may say that we were disappointed with the way Kenya and Canada have in fact in some respects gone backwards. We do spend a lot of time on the high-performance countries, and going into the next strategic plan we want to bring into play what we call targeted investment, which will further support those sorts of high-performance countries."

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Pramesh on April 7, 2011, 6:02 GMT

    As a Nepalese, I am really disappointed about ICC's decision. I was thinking about that the team will expanded to 16 Teams for next world cup, but they don't want it. They don't want to globalize this cricket. How can they do that with us. I am hoping that we can take part in 2015 but they slapped me badly. POOR POOR ICC………….. I think theirs fixtures in this world cup was ugly one. How can you made every game before Quarter Final isn't important. I think if they did that only top 2 teams from each group will qualify for Semi Final…than all those matches have Important…..n we also got enjoya by seeing those matches.

  • Rajat on April 6, 2011, 17:08 GMT

    Highly unfortunate decision. If one maps cricketing nations as per continents, this is what you see - Australia(continent): Australia and New Zealand; Europe: England; Africa: South Africa and Zimbabwe; America: West Indies; and Asia:India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh (all part of Indian subcontinent). This is fast becoming not just an Asian but an Indian subcontinent sport. Just one country from Europe and one from America and no South east, middle east or far east Asian country after over 100 years of sport. The decision from ICC surely wont help this dissapointing scene.

  • Richard on April 6, 2011, 15:30 GMT

    If as is suggested, the new format is a 10 team league with everyone playing each other once, that would make 45 games + 2 Semi's and the Final, so 48 games against 49 games in the recently completed world cup, 1 game difference, so one of the reasons for the change is certainly not to shorted the World Cup !

  • steve on April 6, 2011, 14:33 GMT

    what about bangladesh - 57 all out against west indies, do you still wanna carry on with bangladesh and leave out immensely talented irelanders, come on icc wake up, and think of the world cricket lovers. ireland beat england by chasing so please leave out england in next world cup, inspite of playing so many ODI's in a year still england and west indies played badly. give ireland and netherlands 50 ODI's against top teams and then you see where they stand!!!

  • harish on April 6, 2011, 12:34 GMT

    by 2019 there would be no associate country worth mentioning. the obriens and ten deotshces would be plying their trade for England and Australia like Dirk nannes and Eoin Morgan. I suspect that is the chief reason behind this move.

  • Alexander on April 6, 2011, 11:47 GMT


    sign this petition to give cricket a chance to grow and survive as a viable sport. Associates deserve a chance to qualify.

  • Aalok on April 6, 2011, 10:00 GMT

    Good move to cut the number of teams, but lack of thought in the blanket elimination of associates. In the football world cup, even the best teams go through a qualifying stage, so why not have the same for atleast the associates? What a callous bunch of decision-makers. They definitely do not have the best interests of the game at heart.

  • Ramanan on April 6, 2011, 9:45 GMT

    Why can't what is planned to be done in 2019 be done in 2015?? Why can't a FIFA cup style qualifier be held? It is good for the game when even teams like Brazil need to prove to be fit to qualify and not given automatic passage.

  • Max on April 6, 2011, 8:34 GMT

    I suggested this previously too. The idea is to balance quality of games with no. of teams & length of t'ment. ie. Have a more inclusive t'ment but at the same time trying to keep a high standadr & reduce length of the t'ment.

    Have a qualifying t'ment between 2 least ranked full members & 6 highest ranked associates. Then take the first 4 to the finals of the World Cup along with 8 highest ranked full members.

    Split them into 3 groups of 4 each in an all play all format. Total of 18 games. Then take best 2 of each group & have an all play all but with no points being carried forward from the 1st round. Total of 15 games.

    Finally have the top 2 teams play a final of the best of 3 or 5 games. Or have 2 semi finals between first 4 of second round & then a final. This would mean 3 or 5 matches, giving a total for the tournament of 36 or 38 matches which is far less than WC 2011.


  • Mehdi on April 6, 2011, 7:16 GMT

    I cant believe they could have done this to Ireland and i'm not even Irish i'm Indian and ecstatic about India's WC win but this bad decision just kills some of my joy, i mean porterfields men deserve to stay after all that they have shown in the last world cup.

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