Associates news June 24, 2011

Associates hope for World Cup lifeline

50

Associate nations will discover whether they will be given a chance to appear at the 2015 World Cup when the structure of tournament is debated once again at the ICC's annual conference, which begins on June 26 in Hong Kong. Some countries believe they have put together an irresistible argument to be reinstated, but a lingering fear remains that they will be frozen out.

"It would take a brave group to completely ignore the views of their most important stakeholders - the players, the fans, their own committees and members," Warren Deutrom, the Cricket Ireland chief executive, told ESPNcricinfo. "All the anecdotal evidence points towards a degree of hope, but then again nothing has really changed since the original decision."

Yet worries remain that the Full Members, who are often seen as looking after their own welfare first, won't have changed their minds, especially as the 2015 event in Australia and New Zealand has been set at 10 teams. "It's a major concern that it's the same people making the decision," Tom Sears, the Cricket Kenya chief executive, said. "But the ICC president has made it very clear that if they go against the recommendation of the cricket committee then what's the point in having it? With the weight of opinion against them I think it would be a ridiculous decision not to change."

The initial decision to restrict the next World Cup to the ten Full Members created a fierce backlash and threats of legal action against the governing body. The ICC was accused of operating a closed shop and phrases such as "a black day for the sport" were heard. After two weeks of silence Sharad Pawar, the ICC president, asked that the issue be examined again and the ICC's own cricket committee recommended there should be a qualifying tournament when they met at Lord's last month.

Haroon Lorgat, the ICC chief executive, said his preference was for the tournament to remain 10 teams but with an element of qualification. The final decision, however, rests with the same group of people that voted the first time, so there is no guarantee the Associates will be included.

Deutrom, though, believes the support behind the Associates' stand is making those administering the game reconsider. "I think for the very first time the directors - the ten Full members - have seen it is a sport that has 105 countries," he said. "They understand their duty is as custodians of a truly international sport. The ground swell of opinion has reflected that cricket is truly global and therefore the voices of the 95 other countries must now be heard and decisions should not wholly be based on the interests of 10 countries."

Ireland, largely because of their standing as the leading Associate nation, are one of the loudest voices demanding a change from ICC. They famously beat England in Bangalore during the 2011 World Cup, but Deutrom doesn't want any decision to be weighted heavily in their favour at the expense of the wider Associate and Affiliate structure. Instead, he wants Ireland to be used as an example of what smaller cricket nations can achieve when given the backing needed to progress.

"I think why Ireland have been at the forefront of this is because it's the Irish performances that have provoked the debate," Deutrom said. "I've been at pains to stress this is about 95 countries even if Ireland helped improve the argument. Look at Afghanistan, for example, who climbed the World Cricket League structure. It's not just an Associate argument.

"Afghanistan's performances have given a hallmark of what every country can aspire to, that's the beauty of World Cup qualification. We've always talked about the pathway, that's the most sacrosanct thing."

A positive sign has been the creation of an ODI league, which will run parallel to the four-day Intercontinental Cup, and could provide a qualifying path to the World Cup, although it remains to be seen how extra sides would be accommodated in 2015. And that means consideration has to be given to the decision not being overturned.

A qualification process has been promised for the 2019 World Cup in England, but there's no sign of Associates backing down and waiting another four years. "We hope the result goes well but we've also examined the legal position," Sears admitted. "It would be a last resort but at this stage I wouldn't rule anything out."

A leading sports lawyer told ESPNcricinfo that countries like Ireland could have a strong case to go to court. "The biggest issue concerns the way it's been done," he said. "There are commercial justifications in moving to ten teams, and those in themselves would make it legal. However, the complete exclusion of the Associate members could only be done in a way where there were justifications, and the changes were brought about in a proportionate manner.

"Unless the ICC can show some strong objective evidence as to why a qualification tournament would be practically impossible because of fixture overload or FTP commitments, they wouldn't have a strong leg to stand on."

Deutrom, meanwhile, hopes the sport isn't put in such a position. "I think it would be wholly irresponsible of the board to go down that route. I sincerely hope they don't place the sport in a position where we have to test the governing body's decision. I hope, and I trust, that the right decision will be made."

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on June 27, 2011, 9:59 GMT

    Ireland has proven themselves worthy of playing more cricket, Afgansitan and teams like Scotland with real 'home grown' talent need to at least be given the chance of playing international cricket with the big teams and play in the ODI world cups. Ireland also need test statuship!!!

  • I.RAGHURAM on June 27, 2011, 6:57 GMT

    10 Team WC is perfect. Only objection is the automatic qualifiction for the Full members irrespective of their cricketing abilities. My opinion is that the bottom two ranked teams from the Full members should be relegated and top two teams from the qualifiers should play the WC as the 9th & 10th team. If it can be bottom 4, even more better. But for that the Full members should shed their ego and try to improve their cricketing ability. Teams like West Indies are constantly going down and still want to play WC... This is utter Nonsense....

  • CricSare on June 26, 2011, 15:46 GMT

    this is the result summary in England by all countries/tests

    Team Span Mat Won Lost Tied Draw Australia 1880-2010 161 50 46 0 65 Bangladesh 2005-2010 4 0 4 0 0 England 1880-2011 463 185 107 0 171 India 1932-2007 48 5 23 0 20 New Zealand 1931-2008 50 4 27 0 19 Pakistan 1954-2010 49 10 21 0 18 South Africa 1907-2008 64 11 29 0 24 Sri Lanka 1984-2011 13 2 6 0 5 West Indies 1928-2009 80 29 30 0 21 Zimbabwe 2000-2003 4 0 3 0 1

    here INDIA has the 3RD WORST records in English conditions even though they are there since 1932..really really shame.Is this the basement of giving them % match series against Eng????

  • on June 26, 2011, 14:07 GMT

    I have always felt cricket world cup qualification process should have been like the football world cup qualification process...2 matches against each team in their group 1 away leg and 1 home leg....that way makes it more global and also the Associate and Affiliates will get more exposure if they play in different conditions against these big teams......but for 2015 WC i think now it should consider a Qualification tournament just ahead of WC with 4 associate teams and bottom 4 so called 'elite' teams. The top 4 teams from that qualification process gets to play WC....I am sure that will give these Associates and Affiliates a fair chance to play in the WC

  • on June 26, 2011, 10:34 GMT

    AFGHANISTAN leads the associates team . ICC has to give chance to AFGHANISTAN and IRELAND. we hope to hear good news from ICC about the future of associates teams

  • on June 26, 2011, 8:50 GMT

    My suggestion is having 14 teams playing, with two main groups A and B, and two auxiliary groups X and Y, which contains the 9th placed team, 10th placed team, and four associate members divided in three teams each. The winner of Group X will join Group A and winner of Group Y will join Group B. Thus, we actually have 10 teams divided into 5 each in each group in round-robin format. Then, the top three from each group qualify into the super six, then the semi finals and the final. The whole tournament, in this format, can be completed in slightly over 1 month, and the top team will be exempted from playing the associate members, unless of course, the associate members qualify from Group X and Y respectively.

  • on June 26, 2011, 8:24 GMT

    If ICC really wants to make cricket as a global sport then they should have to allow Associate Nations such as Ireland, Netherland and Afgan to participate in major events like World Cup. This will make them much more comfort to compete against the top most teams in cricketing world and thus it make the other teams to improve their game and it gives hope to all other Associates and Affiliiates. If ICC doesn't allow them to participate it's just like killing the game and will result in negative causes in assocites and affiliates.

  • candyfloss on June 26, 2011, 7:43 GMT

    If I can recall correctly it was Ricky Ponting who led the call for the ouster of associate nations.Its time such regressive players are shown the door and the game is allowed to develop.Here is hoping that some nations are allowed to particpate.Involving new teams should be done in a phased manner to spread the game and at the same time avoid too many one sided matches which sucks the life out of a tournament.

  • PrameshP on June 26, 2011, 7:14 GMT

    It's ridiculous decision taken by ICC & why they don't want to reconsider their decision? 2011 Format is ridiculous as well. Why they make sure the top 8 teams will go in QF, instead of that they should make that top 2 teams from each groups will qualify for Semi Final. That will make the game interesting. I will love to see 16 Teams in World Cup 2015, so that one of them can be Nepal as well. Still they should allow at least 12 Teams for 2015 WC. make 2 groups. Play twice against each country of same groups. then top two from each groups qualify for Semi Final. That will make game interesting and fantastic as well. I would love if I get chance to make these wonderful decision, though I am not from cricketing background.

  • imdk07 on June 26, 2011, 5:00 GMT

    If ICC really wants to make cricket as a global sport then they should have to allow Associate Nations such as Ireland, Netherland and Afgan to participate in major events like World Cup. This will make them much more comfort to compete against the top most teams in cricketing world and thus it make the other teams to improve their game and it gives hope to all other Associates and Affiliiates. If ICC doesn't allow them to participate it's just like killing the game and will result in negative causes in assocites and affiliates.

  • on June 27, 2011, 9:59 GMT

    Ireland has proven themselves worthy of playing more cricket, Afgansitan and teams like Scotland with real 'home grown' talent need to at least be given the chance of playing international cricket with the big teams and play in the ODI world cups. Ireland also need test statuship!!!

  • I.RAGHURAM on June 27, 2011, 6:57 GMT

    10 Team WC is perfect. Only objection is the automatic qualifiction for the Full members irrespective of their cricketing abilities. My opinion is that the bottom two ranked teams from the Full members should be relegated and top two teams from the qualifiers should play the WC as the 9th & 10th team. If it can be bottom 4, even more better. But for that the Full members should shed their ego and try to improve their cricketing ability. Teams like West Indies are constantly going down and still want to play WC... This is utter Nonsense....

  • CricSare on June 26, 2011, 15:46 GMT

    this is the result summary in England by all countries/tests

    Team Span Mat Won Lost Tied Draw Australia 1880-2010 161 50 46 0 65 Bangladesh 2005-2010 4 0 4 0 0 England 1880-2011 463 185 107 0 171 India 1932-2007 48 5 23 0 20 New Zealand 1931-2008 50 4 27 0 19 Pakistan 1954-2010 49 10 21 0 18 South Africa 1907-2008 64 11 29 0 24 Sri Lanka 1984-2011 13 2 6 0 5 West Indies 1928-2009 80 29 30 0 21 Zimbabwe 2000-2003 4 0 3 0 1

    here INDIA has the 3RD WORST records in English conditions even though they are there since 1932..really really shame.Is this the basement of giving them % match series against Eng????

  • on June 26, 2011, 14:07 GMT

    I have always felt cricket world cup qualification process should have been like the football world cup qualification process...2 matches against each team in their group 1 away leg and 1 home leg....that way makes it more global and also the Associate and Affiliates will get more exposure if they play in different conditions against these big teams......but for 2015 WC i think now it should consider a Qualification tournament just ahead of WC with 4 associate teams and bottom 4 so called 'elite' teams. The top 4 teams from that qualification process gets to play WC....I am sure that will give these Associates and Affiliates a fair chance to play in the WC

  • on June 26, 2011, 10:34 GMT

    AFGHANISTAN leads the associates team . ICC has to give chance to AFGHANISTAN and IRELAND. we hope to hear good news from ICC about the future of associates teams

  • on June 26, 2011, 8:50 GMT

    My suggestion is having 14 teams playing, with two main groups A and B, and two auxiliary groups X and Y, which contains the 9th placed team, 10th placed team, and four associate members divided in three teams each. The winner of Group X will join Group A and winner of Group Y will join Group B. Thus, we actually have 10 teams divided into 5 each in each group in round-robin format. Then, the top three from each group qualify into the super six, then the semi finals and the final. The whole tournament, in this format, can be completed in slightly over 1 month, and the top team will be exempted from playing the associate members, unless of course, the associate members qualify from Group X and Y respectively.

  • on June 26, 2011, 8:24 GMT

    If ICC really wants to make cricket as a global sport then they should have to allow Associate Nations such as Ireland, Netherland and Afgan to participate in major events like World Cup. This will make them much more comfort to compete against the top most teams in cricketing world and thus it make the other teams to improve their game and it gives hope to all other Associates and Affiliiates. If ICC doesn't allow them to participate it's just like killing the game and will result in negative causes in assocites and affiliates.

  • candyfloss on June 26, 2011, 7:43 GMT

    If I can recall correctly it was Ricky Ponting who led the call for the ouster of associate nations.Its time such regressive players are shown the door and the game is allowed to develop.Here is hoping that some nations are allowed to particpate.Involving new teams should be done in a phased manner to spread the game and at the same time avoid too many one sided matches which sucks the life out of a tournament.

  • PrameshP on June 26, 2011, 7:14 GMT

    It's ridiculous decision taken by ICC & why they don't want to reconsider their decision? 2011 Format is ridiculous as well. Why they make sure the top 8 teams will go in QF, instead of that they should make that top 2 teams from each groups will qualify for Semi Final. That will make the game interesting. I will love to see 16 Teams in World Cup 2015, so that one of them can be Nepal as well. Still they should allow at least 12 Teams for 2015 WC. make 2 groups. Play twice against each country of same groups. then top two from each groups qualify for Semi Final. That will make game interesting and fantastic as well. I would love if I get chance to make these wonderful decision, though I am not from cricketing background.

  • imdk07 on June 26, 2011, 5:00 GMT

    If ICC really wants to make cricket as a global sport then they should have to allow Associate Nations such as Ireland, Netherland and Afgan to participate in major events like World Cup. This will make them much more comfort to compete against the top most teams in cricketing world and thus it make the other teams to improve their game and it gives hope to all other Associates and Affiliiates. If ICC doesn't allow them to participate it's just like killing the game and will result in negative causes in assocites and affiliates.

  • L.Pearce on June 26, 2011, 3:31 GMT

    The 2011 format was the best that has ever been used if they insist on cutting it down then 14 to 12 is the only option. keeping 2, 6 team groups, then etc etc with 8 progressers to quaters and so on. with the WC qualifier the 2 associates who make the final get the 2 places that are open. but it should remain 14, 10 full members, 4 top associates from qualifier. with the qualifier consisting of 6 to 10 associates/affiliates (IRE, NTL, KEN, CAN, SCO, AFG, BER, UAE, NAM, USA).

  • on June 25, 2011, 22:04 GMT

    @ Anish Rizal Bro ...Nepal Has Never Beaten Afghanistan ,Even In Under 19 Afghanistan Won The Final From Ur Under 19 And Nepali Senior Team Played Only Two Matches With Afghanistan Which Afghanistan Won The First One With Four Wickets And The Second One With 93 Runs ...I Agree Nepali Team Has Talent And They Should Be Motivated But Comparing Ur Senior Team With Afghan Team Is Unjust ..

  • Stumpbreaker on June 25, 2011, 17:45 GMT

    It was india who forced ICC to reconsider the associates.. but why no one is praising it.. i think its in fashion to bash USA for every political failure and India for everything that happens in cricket.

  • on June 25, 2011, 17:10 GMT

    ICC has to look at back ground of AFGHANISTAN than make decision . we all afghans hope that ICC take back their diesion which has mad a couple months bofore and give chance to associates teams if not they have find a knid of system which gonna let to associates play with bangladish or zamb... to qulefiy for 2015 world cup

  • palla.avinash on June 25, 2011, 17:05 GMT

    they should be given a chance to associates to keep 50 overs cricket alive.

  • Cpt.Meanster on June 25, 2011, 16:59 GMT

    A poor decision will kill the dreams of hundreds of men from Ireland, Afghanistan, Nepal, Holland etc. ICC will eventually kill the sport and TRUE fans of the game will continue to boycott ICC events in the future because of the raw deal given to us. We need to see the rise of Afghanistan, Ireland as a force in cricket and by limiting the appearances of such teams it's not gonna happen. Two Ashes series in 2013 ? that's ridiculous and even a drunk person can't reason with that. Please make cricket a truly global sport OR please call it a BRITISH COLONIAL sport THANK YOU.

  • howizzat on June 25, 2011, 15:11 GMT

    Best 10 teams is OK. But then the best 10 should play irrespective of their status, whether it is a test playing nation or not.

  • on June 25, 2011, 14:42 GMT

    If Associates Nation can not play on world cup?????Then cricket will dissaear from countries except 10 countries!!!!!!Countries like Nepal also should get chance !!!!!!!!!!!!Otherwise only ICC and 10 Nation will be there behind it!!!! ICC SHOULD LEARN SOME FROM FIFA!!!!!

  • on June 25, 2011, 13:25 GMT

    Given chance to Nepal they will rock.

  • on June 25, 2011, 13:12 GMT

    I would like to see as much associate nations as possible to play in next world cup. If having a qualifying round is the way to go, let it be. I hope mindless ICC listens to this..

  • on June 25, 2011, 13:10 GMT

    i have been hearing about lots of u saying about Afghanistan, Ireland, Kenya and all but don't forgot the country 'NEPAL". i hardly believe believe few of u know about this country but the passion for cricket in this country is terrific.Nepal have beaten Afghanistan many times but now a days Afghanistan seems to be more stronger even though still Nepal can bit them. This country has been always unlucky. once they were selected for Asian cup and the tournament was canceled due to war between India AND PAKISTAN .The PLAYER LIKE mehaboom Alarm is in this team who has taken 10 wicket in a single ODI. I wonder and ask to ICC that does they want only the top ten countries to play cricket? if so its ridiculous and i feel shame being a true cricket lover. Cannot we increase the team rather to decease? what is wrong in doing so.

  • WhatMustTheICCThink on June 25, 2011, 12:51 GMT

    The overwhelming public and players' opinion is against the ICC with this one. Their whole structure needs to change, just as world cricket has changed. At the moment, it's 10 CEOs (ultimately 3) trying to ensure as much money and power for their own boards as possible, irrespective of the damage to others. If it continues like this, the sport is doomed. It is ridiculous to limit the World Cup to 10 teams, even more so to do this without qualification, but they have boxed themselves in, signing contracts from TV companies and pocketing the money long ago. Thank goodness there are still people with sense and fairness in the Cricket Committee. Hopefully, with egg on their face, the ICC Execs will have the courage to overturn their disgusting decision and restore respect to the World Cup. Sadly, it seems to have gone unnoticed, that the ICC recently decided to abolish qualification for the U19 World Cup. They are on a 4-year plan to destroy world cricket and getting away with it.

  • kingcobra85 on June 25, 2011, 12:49 GMT

    @Patrick Harding its Aus & NZ who are asking for a 10 member only world cup. As associate games tend to attract low audience and TRP hence loss in revenue...The only point of debate here is Money and not else..It was never abt cricket

  • on June 25, 2011, 12:17 GMT

    Most of the Indian fan does not like Bangladesh because of 2007 WC. They don't even recognize the talent of Sakib al Hasan or Tamim Iqbal. Most of Indian National Players have worse record than those two players of BD at their age. Still they compare BD with Ireland or other associate members. I can assure u that BD can beat Ireland or any other associate members at least 9 times out of 10 games. BD can now win at least 20% of their game with India or Australia.

  • rkannancrown on June 25, 2011, 11:54 GMT

    The financial inability of cricket boards in Australia & New Zeland is the prime reason why teams are getting restricted. If Australia & New Zeland do not attract cricket loving public, why have the world cup there ? If ICC thinks that only 10 teams should play in WC final, that is ok but then make sure that the team best teams in 2015 are playing - not the best teams of 1915.

  • on June 25, 2011, 11:41 GMT

    Why is everyone saying 12 teams? Whats wrong with having 14 teams in the world cup? I thought everyone was happy with the last world cup. Sure it was horrible seeing the likes of Kenya nd Canada getting belted by every team but so what? In the end sport is all about enjoyment and having fun. Those Kenyans and Canadians still enjoyed it and had fun so why deny extra nations on participating in this wonderful tournament. Plus its no fair on Australia nd New Zealand as if its a 10 team world cup they will be the only countries to not have a current associate team in their world cup. During the tours i can watch on tv all the full members having tours against eachother and the world cup is the only time i can see associates play so please ICC. Include the associates for the next world cup.

  • on June 25, 2011, 11:26 GMT

    @Rahim Amin, Afghanistan hasn't always been the winner between the two sides, and often Ireland has played with a team missing most of it's star players,

    there is too much debate about Ireland and Afghanistan, we should be working together...

  • on June 25, 2011, 11:16 GMT

    If there is any qualifications, all the teams must go through that like FIFA do for it's world cup where even no. 1 team is under threat to qualify. To see the over all quality and the competetion, every team must go through that!

  • Vernacular_Press on June 25, 2011, 11:07 GMT

    @Meety...I ve mentioned only in terms of talent.But talent is not directly proportional to performance.I feel Ireland is very fortunate to be a part of a developed community. They get enough opportunities.I guess u r an australian of irish origin like border.

  • on June 25, 2011, 11:03 GMT

    @arunhero, without cheating i can name a few other than the obvious ones: Argentina, Italy, Fiji, France, Norway, Uganda, Cayman Islands, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Nepal, Oman, Gibraltar, Jersey, Guernsey, Denmark, Papua New Guinea

  • on June 25, 2011, 10:57 GMT

    Associate team has definitely a place in WC..but the max limit.but what abt d Perennial underperformers like Bangladesh n Zimbabwe.. My view is 8 Teams (which includes Zim and Bangla) n total 4 qualifying teams (must include zim n bangla in qualifiers) n 12 team is d right way to go, ... as far as Ireland'd logic tat they qualifiy automatically.. Its a big no no,,, 1 swallow doesnot make a summer..

  • on June 25, 2011, 10:56 GMT

    Thanks Friends It Is Good Discussion ..About Ireland And Afghanistan ...I Think Afghanistan Is Strong The Prove I Can Give U Is The Winning Matches Between Ireland And Afghanistan ..Afghanistan Has Always Been The Winning Side In Associates Despite Of They Have No Ground ,,No Good Coach No Good Facilities Which Other Teams Possessed Already ,But Their Spirit Of Cricket Should Be Praised And Its Panic .. They Have Four Strong Players Even This Summer In MCC Ganguly Said That Cricket Talent Is Not Only In Suchin And Others But Afghan Players Have Such Talents And Should Be Supported..If U Look At Hamid Hassan ,,He Is An Exceptional Talent As Bowler In Every Match With More Than 5 Wickets Haul ,I Have Never Seen Any Bowler Who Did The Same In Every Match ...

  • rameezshaikh on June 25, 2011, 10:38 GMT

    It's a shame on ICC's part. They are proudly writing on their website that it's a game of 105 countries. But, giving chance to only 10 countries !!! How can u ignore sides like Ireland, netherlands and afghanistan ??? Bloody shame ...

  • arunheros on June 25, 2011, 9:43 GMT

    It is shame that ICC wants to revamp the world cup format thus scraping of associate nation from the tournament. If you see in past decade top 5 team in the world never changed, They swapped places with each other besides that lower half top 10 team remain in same position as they were before. Also to look into the matter why cant they have an associate world cup , i know, it will be messy and somewhat expensive affair but for the sake promotion of the game it is not that big trade off. can anyone name 20 nations playing cricket?, in world with more than 350 country we can't name 20 cricket nation and barely name 15 , thats a shame in itself for ICC which says it promotes cricket.

  • moko58 on June 25, 2011, 9:15 GMT

    In 2007 World Cup, Bangladesh eliminated fancied India in the early rounds. You never know which 'minnow' will have a good game. In World cup football there are so many teams - how do they manage it ? So there should be a way of starting with as many teams , and filtering them to 10 in the final rounds.

  • Cricketfan333 on June 25, 2011, 9:06 GMT

    Those who are adamant on 10 team WC format are Mr.Haroon Lorgat,Aus and NZ cricket boards.Mr.Lorgat is the worst CEO, ICC ever had.A World cup without atleast 12 teams is not satisfactory.Cricket has become most popular sport in Afg.They can definitely become a test nation in future.Axing them from WC would affect cricket's popularity in Afg.Ireland is the best associate/affiliate team.People in Ireland have become interested in cricket.If they are axed from WC,their cricket will decline like Kenya.

  • BlorScouser on June 25, 2011, 7:06 GMT

    I really hope that better sense prevails at the ICC annual conference and a decision is taken where the greater interest of the international game is considered. Such a decision should clearly establish that cricket is an inclusive sport. The first step on this path is to give an assurance to the associates/affiliates, that they will be allowed to participate in a qualifying tournament for the 2015 ICC World Cup.

  • montado on June 25, 2011, 6:10 GMT

    I sincerely believe Ireland are definately better than Zim, WI and maybe also Bang. Even the Netherlands were impressive and could beat any of the above three on a given day. They should definately be in the 2015 WC. They have a lot of talent and with the amount of exposure they have at present they have impressed many. They will get even better if they get more int. exposure. These two teams should definately be encouraged more, it will be great for World Cricket, if that is what the concerned people desire... in the first place.

  • diddles on June 25, 2011, 4:12 GMT

    Hope ICC Executive Board puts the games broader interests first this time and allows for the associates participation. Seriously, the next world cup should feature a minimum 12 teams if not 14, and from 2019 onwards it should be a minimum 16 teams. That sends out a strong message to all members that the World Cup is an event for all, not an exclusive test team event. Teams like Ireland, Netherlands, Afghanistan, Nepal, Scotland, Uganda, Namibia, PNG, etc, with many indigenous players deserve this opportunity to showcase their skills (PS, Canada, USA and some others do need to work harder on developing talent outside their expatriate communities, and if they dont oblige, their ICC funding should be reduced). Yes, there will be one sided games at times, but other sports like rugby union and soccer can cope with that so why should cricket be so elistist and narrow minded. The main issue is not the number of teams in the World Cup, its the format, which could be shortened.

  • Timmuh on June 25, 2011, 3:26 GMT

    Anything less than 12 teams is an absolute travesty, and all brought about by Cricket Australia - the same people who see the BBL as good preparation for, and moreimpostant than, Test cricket. We need a major administrative clean out here in Australia, even more than Pakistan does.

  • rajatgupta_indianfan on June 25, 2011, 3:17 GMT

    The issue preventing ICC and the 10 governing nations from having the qualifying tournament is not the interest of Bangladesh, Zimbabwe and West Indies/New Zealand - one/more of whom may be disqualified..to me its to protect the interest of just Bangladesh...no one would care about the insignificant revenue losses if Zimbabwe bows out of the qualification. New Zealand and West Indies are anyhow likely to qualify. But if Bangladesh goes out, it could be a major TV revenue loss and this I feel is what is deterring ICC from having a qualifying tournament

  • maddy20 on June 25, 2011, 2:16 GMT

    Associates need more practice and they can surely become world beaters. As many have pointed out Afghanistan and ireland are two teams to watch out for. They have immense assion for the game and talent. All they need is experience. It would be a real shame if ICC freezes the out. There should be qualifiers for teams ranked 9-14 including Zim and Bangladesh. The top two teams should qualify for the world cup.

  • thair9999 on June 25, 2011, 0:57 GMT

    Ireland and Afghan are not same, Ireland are on their own accord, Afghan are truly just an extension of Pakistan domestic circuit.

  • on June 25, 2011, 0:51 GMT

    If they vote no for qualification for the associates it will confirm everything that is wrong with cricket. The ten full members must vote for the good of the sport not just their own interests.

  • Meety on June 25, 2011, 0:28 GMT

    @vivekdhayalan_indian_tamilan - mate I'm a huge admirer of what the Afghans have done. Its truely the most amazing story I've ever seen/heard. However to say, "Afghanistan is much better than ireland-talent wise", is extremely disrespectful to what Ireland have achieved (albeit not as fast). Who knows where Afghans will be in world cricket 12 years from now (50 over W/C champions at their current rate of improvement), but Ireland are easily the better side all things considered.

  • ajm63 on June 24, 2011, 23:56 GMT

    Well balanced article, Andrew. Another reason why they would vote 'no' is the TV contract which specifies 10 teams - and hard to see India risking votes of Bangladesh and Zimbabwe by allowing a qualifying process. Think it will again be a 'no' vote but be delighted to be wrong.

  • on June 24, 2011, 22:41 GMT

    They should give chance to Afghanistan and Ireland they are stronge teams ..

  • mightymf2000 on June 24, 2011, 22:07 GMT

    Here is my format 2 groups of 5 and 1 of 4. You play each other once. The top 3 in the groups of 5 go through to the quarters and the top 2 of the group of 4 also go through. Then semis then final. Simple and can feautre associates.

  • Spike13 on June 24, 2011, 19:28 GMT

    instead 10 teamns why cant they make it 12. then there are two spots thhat are left to fill in. so the associates teams can plaay for the two spots left would just hate it that ireland and the nethrlands are left out next time they are boht good and have some good players they should get a chance to shine

  • Vernacular_Press on June 24, 2011, 18:29 GMT

    Afghanistan is much better than ireland-talent wise.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • Vernacular_Press on June 24, 2011, 18:29 GMT

    Afghanistan is much better than ireland-talent wise.

  • Spike13 on June 24, 2011, 19:28 GMT

    instead 10 teamns why cant they make it 12. then there are two spots thhat are left to fill in. so the associates teams can plaay for the two spots left would just hate it that ireland and the nethrlands are left out next time they are boht good and have some good players they should get a chance to shine

  • mightymf2000 on June 24, 2011, 22:07 GMT

    Here is my format 2 groups of 5 and 1 of 4. You play each other once. The top 3 in the groups of 5 go through to the quarters and the top 2 of the group of 4 also go through. Then semis then final. Simple and can feautre associates.

  • on June 24, 2011, 22:41 GMT

    They should give chance to Afghanistan and Ireland they are stronge teams ..

  • ajm63 on June 24, 2011, 23:56 GMT

    Well balanced article, Andrew. Another reason why they would vote 'no' is the TV contract which specifies 10 teams - and hard to see India risking votes of Bangladesh and Zimbabwe by allowing a qualifying process. Think it will again be a 'no' vote but be delighted to be wrong.

  • Meety on June 25, 2011, 0:28 GMT

    @vivekdhayalan_indian_tamilan - mate I'm a huge admirer of what the Afghans have done. Its truely the most amazing story I've ever seen/heard. However to say, "Afghanistan is much better than ireland-talent wise", is extremely disrespectful to what Ireland have achieved (albeit not as fast). Who knows where Afghans will be in world cricket 12 years from now (50 over W/C champions at their current rate of improvement), but Ireland are easily the better side all things considered.

  • on June 25, 2011, 0:51 GMT

    If they vote no for qualification for the associates it will confirm everything that is wrong with cricket. The ten full members must vote for the good of the sport not just their own interests.

  • thair9999 on June 25, 2011, 0:57 GMT

    Ireland and Afghan are not same, Ireland are on their own accord, Afghan are truly just an extension of Pakistan domestic circuit.

  • maddy20 on June 25, 2011, 2:16 GMT

    Associates need more practice and they can surely become world beaters. As many have pointed out Afghanistan and ireland are two teams to watch out for. They have immense assion for the game and talent. All they need is experience. It would be a real shame if ICC freezes the out. There should be qualifiers for teams ranked 9-14 including Zim and Bangladesh. The top two teams should qualify for the world cup.

  • rajatgupta_indianfan on June 25, 2011, 3:17 GMT

    The issue preventing ICC and the 10 governing nations from having the qualifying tournament is not the interest of Bangladesh, Zimbabwe and West Indies/New Zealand - one/more of whom may be disqualified..to me its to protect the interest of just Bangladesh...no one would care about the insignificant revenue losses if Zimbabwe bows out of the qualification. New Zealand and West Indies are anyhow likely to qualify. But if Bangladesh goes out, it could be a major TV revenue loss and this I feel is what is deterring ICC from having a qualifying tournament