ICC World Cup 2015 April 4, 2011

'An absolute black day for the sport'


Warren Deutrom, the Cricket Ireland chief executive, has slammed the ICC's decision to trim the next World Cup to just the ten Full Members nations, describing it as "nothing short of outrageous".

The 2015 event in Australia and New Zealand will only include the ten Test-playing nations after the ICC decided against a qualification system for the tournament, which means no chance for the likes of Ireland or Netherlands to earn a place. For 2019 there is the prospect of Associates and Affiliates finding a way back in through qualification, but today's decision has effectively frozen them out of the game's showpiece event for eight years.

The decision, while tough on all the Associate nations, is particularly hard on Ireland, who proved themselves to have been a cut above the rest of the second-tier teams during the 2011 event, with a memorable victory over England in Bangalore to add to their scalping of Pakistan on their World Cup debut in 2007. Though they still finished sixth in Group B, they were more consistently competitive than either Bangladesh or Zimbabwe, the two main beneficiaries of today's ICC's decision.

"The conclusion can only be reached that the decisions made today were based purely on the protection of the existing membership entitlements for Full Members and the commercial imperative that a ten-team event delivers nine guaranteed matches for India and England," Deutrom told ESPNcricinfo. "It's nothing short of outrageous. All of the principles by which a decision should have been made in the first instance - which is what's best for the sport and what's acting in the best interests of all 105 members - have clearly been abandoned today.

"And after such a terrific event, and the wonderful occasion of the final, where the sport was incredible and regarded in such glowing terms around the world, I'm afraid this is an absolute black day for the sport. It's a genuinely awful decision that has been reached."

Scarcely three weeks have elapsed since Ireland were the toast of world cricket, with their successful run-chase against England, led by Kevin O'Brien's record-breaking hundred, destined to remain as one of the abiding memories in World Cup history. Boyd Rankin, one of the players who featured in that game, posted his thoughts on Twitter. "Thanks ICC!! What does Irish cricket got to do?? Shambles!!"

Ireland also fought hard against West Indies and Bangladesh, and Deutrom believed his team had done enough at least to force the ICC into some sort of dialogue. "It's a betrayal of the principles of sport and the principles of meritocracy and a level playing field," he said.

"Surely the principle of sport is that if you are good enough you should have the chance to be involved. You have an Associate member who has been out-ranking a Full Member [Zimbabwe] for most of the last four years, who has got through to the Super Eights of the 2007 World Cup, and who has been genuinely been recognised as having performed even better at this one, yet on the back of those performances it has been seen fit to reduced the number of participants at the World Cup."

Although ICC have offered an expanded World Twenty20 in place of 2015 World Cup places, Deutrom has serious concerns about the impact on the sport below Test level. Part of Ireland's success comes from the generous support of sponsors and sports funding, but without the major prize of a World Cup to aim for, the product could be less valuable.

"It's difficult to expect sponsors to remain on board and the government to continue to offer support when the question they could quite legitimately ask is 'why should we support you when your own sport won't?," he said. "High Performance countries would regard themselves as proper cricket countries who play three forms of the game. The decision here, effectively, is saying the other 95 members out of 105 should go away and concentrate on 20-over cricket."

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Karthik on April 7, 2011, 19:21 GMT

    I am not sure what the fuss is about. This is kind of expected! ICC, BCCI,CA & ECB first look at the monetary aspect of it. They could give a hoot about development if it interferes with money. Everything else is secondary. They do not want Bangladesh (160 mil pulling power) or some lower tier traditional powers to be lost in a qualification tournament. Secondly, they would have looked at the returns (monetary) with the Associates and one without it and perhaps they found it profitable without having them after considering that scenario. Additionally they are thinking long-term, I also think that they want to promote T20s world-wide since it is more acceptable to different countries inspite of this WC success in line with their business thinking. If by some miracle, there is some real interest shown in Cricket in countries like China/Indonesia/Japan going forward, ICC would rush to cater to their needs. That is how the world is.

  • Sam on April 7, 2011, 8:15 GMT

    @sumonpantha,the irish team is more irish than english team is english.Moreover,the irish have not poached the best english batsman to play fr them,like the english have done with eoin morgan.

  • Sumon on April 6, 2011, 21:25 GMT

    Ireland is the A team of England. So we don't expect, two teams from England will join every world cup. Look at the Netherlands team, they are hiring player from South Africa, England, India and Pakistan. So I think every country should participate in the sports with their own player. I will be glad if ICC reviews the decision participation in the favor of 12 teams.

  • Sridher on April 6, 2011, 16:51 GMT

    ICC wants to spread the game of cricket....my foot. Set of idiots trying to develop the game by limiting participation instead of devicin a process to improve the game and encourage participation. ICC needs a jolt like Packer and a parallel body to make these nitwits understand. I thought the USA Cricket Association was contrived...ICC takes the cake

  • Dummy4 on April 6, 2011, 16:02 GMT

    this decision must be change back

  • Dummy4 on April 6, 2011, 13:35 GMT

    Ireland may not be the 'best team in the world' but i support them with all my heart and have done so since 2007. the pride and joy i felt when they beat england that way,and even pakistan, is indescribable. i can't believe the icc has done this. its an attempt to put them out of their game, 8 long years of nothing to work towards will leave them in ruins. we can't stand for this, or let the corrupt icc get away with murder.they should atleast make it by odi ranking, or have a qualifier, but no, they decide that only the test playing nations should play as they deserve it more. This is just wrong. it insults cricket as a whole, and if this goes true, i may just lose my love for this beautiful game.

  • Joe on April 6, 2011, 11:14 GMT

    @biggyd perhaps you would care to name some of the 'washed up ringers' in the Ireland team?

    if Dubliner Eoin Morgan had not been ruled out of the England squad by injury, there could have been as many as 10 Irishmen on the field at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium - and only six English-born players." As it was alas there were only 9, and they were ALL in the Ireland team!

    Look we are not asking for a free pass to the world cup, just for a chance to qualify, given that we are ranked as the No10 country in ODI cricket by the ICC itself is that too much to ask?

    (yes Bangladesh are way ahead of us but so they should be after 10 years as a test playing nation!)

  • Dummy4 on April 6, 2011, 10:55 GMT

    On one hand we have FIFA, which gave a shocker by letting a country like Qatar host World Cup 2020, all just to spread the reach of the game. And here we have ICC, which is trying its level best that the game should not go beyond 8 - 10 test playing countries. And then ICC thinks its wrong that Cricket is not included in Olympics. India are World Champions but the world is of only 10 counties.

    I honestly think what Kapil Dev had started the rebel league against BCCI, should have been against ICC, spread the game in other countries, I am sure he would have had more success

    Cheers, Ash

  • Dummy4 on April 6, 2011, 10:31 GMT

    I am a Bangladeshi and I think it really is a very very bad decision. Its bad for cricket. If we(Bangladesh) were not allowed to play world cups. we would not have come this far and still we have a long way to go.And to be honest, I think Ireland is a very strong team(not less if not stronger than Bangladesh). Their main asset is their superb confidence and the will to fight in any situation. I sincerely want ICC to review the decision otherwise cricket will never become a global sport.There is no credit in having 10 teams playing each other and some very talented new sides sitting outside. All I want to say to the Irish,Dutch and other associate nations that Bangladeshi people want all of you to play and succeed. We love cricket and we dont want it to be a money making machine.

  • Monty on April 6, 2011, 10:12 GMT

    Well, if ICC is really strict on having only 10 teams, why not choose the top 10 from the ICC ODI rankings. This is not in the spirit of the game to discard associates completely, when we know couple of full members are also not any good. Also, might be worth giving a few chances to Netherlands and Ireland to play big teams in next couple of years or so.

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