ICC annual conference

Minnows to protest World T20 ruling

Firdose Moonda and Sharda Ugra

June 29, 2011

Comments: 106 | Text size: A | A

Kevin O'Brien launches a six late in Ireland's innings, Ireland v Scotland, ICC World Twenty20 Qualifiers, Dubai, February 11, 2010
The decision to slash minnows in the World Twenty20 highlights the inequality in the ICC's voting system © International Cricket Council

The ICC's decision to slash minnows' representation at the next two World Twenty20 tournaments has sparked outrage among Associate and Affiliate nations, who - after a heated and emotional meeting on Wednesday - have decided to lodge a formal protest at Thursday's full council. The logic of the ICC's decision is further undermined by the fact that the qualification process for the World Twenty20 is already underway - but will now be for just two spots instead of six.

The mood among cricket's less powerful members was in stark contrast to their initial response to the ICC's decision on Tuesday to restore Associate representation in the 50-over World Cup on the one hand while cutting the number of participating teams in the newest format from 16 to 12.

The anger was palpable through the day at the venue of the ICC conference in Hong Kong and in the offices of Associate and Affiliate members. "We will challenge that decision, we won't sit back," Cassim Sulieman, Africa Cricket Association chief executive told ESPNcricinfo. "It's about giving opportunity to everybody and globalising the game. We still have time to work on this and we will."

The 30 Associate and five Affiliate representatives (representing 60 countries) met on Wednesday afternoon and decided to present their objections to the full council. They also asked searching questions of their three representatives (from Bermuda, Singapore and Scotland) who were present at the Executive Board meeting and were party to Tuesday's decision to cut the size of the World T20 field. All of them filed out of their caucus in silence, unwilling to speak formally at length, with one directing queries to the ICC's media office.

Tuesday's decision represented an amazing turnaround in rationale by the ICC; announcing the expansion of the World Twenty20 to 16 teams last September, it said cricket's shortest format made it easier for teams to be competitive. Nine months later, the reduction in numbers is being informally talked of as the trade-off for the four extra berths in the 2015 World Cup. The ICC increased the number of teams for that event to 14, thus reducing their two flagship events into an Indian railway reservation chart for a fixed number of seats.

Adding to the farce is the fact that the qualification process is already underway. It ends with a 16-team competition early next year in the UAE that will feature six automatically qualified teams - Afghanistan, Canada, Ireland, Kenya, Netherlands and Scotland - and 10 regional qualifiers, two each from the Africa, Americas and Europe regions, three from Asia and one from East Asia Pacific.

Those zonal qualifiers are all in their final stages, with each of the five regions left with only one stage to play for their representatives to be decided. Some of the regions, like Africa and Europe, have played qualifiers from the Division Three level, and it's likely that a few teams would have climbed up a long ladder to reach the UAE. After going through two years of qualifying and playing in a format which is largely foreign to them, as these countries usually play 50-over cricket, they now have two chances in 16 of advancing to the main tournament.

"If 16 teams was right for the T20 yesterday morning I fail to see why later the same day it was reduced," Tom Sears, the Kenya cricket chief executive said. "The two events should not be linked but be treated in isolation and on their own merits. Again, in terms of growing the game globally, the Board has taken a huge step backwards with this decision."

Other officials agreed with Sears, with one official present at the meeting pointing to Tuesday's contrary decisions regarding the 50-over and 20-over tournaments being mirrored in the emotions they evoked. "The numbers of those unhappy about the World T20 numbers going down were far more than the numbers of those who were happy yesterday," he said.

Another official simply conveyed the smaller nations' continuing and growing discontent with the ICC. "The ICC always talks about globalisation and says it is a global sport - is cricket a global sport for a small World Cup? Or is it a global sport for a big world?"

The root cause of the inequalities in cricket stem from the ICC's voting pattern, which is different to that in other prominent global sports like football. Each of the ten Full Member nations, and the 35 Associates has one vote each, while the 60 Affiliates are split into groups of twelve, each of which has a single collective vote, adding up to a total of five. According to the Africa Cricket Association Affiliates Report presented to the ICC, they "do not have a direct and proportional voice because 57.15 percent of ICC members are represented by 8.75 in the ICC annual conference."

On Thursday, though, those numbers plan to make their presence felt.

Sharda Ugra is senior editor at ESPNcricinfo; Firdose Moonda is the South Africa correspondent

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Vernacular_Press on (June 30, 2011, 17:50 GMT)

Ashik Imran ...i appreciate ur wish that every nation should play qualifiers.... even bangladesh.

Posted by Vernacular_Press on (June 30, 2011, 17:40 GMT)

@Ashik Imran...... Only top 6 teams which can win the cup , they r giants and the teams which get thrashed or upset giants are minnows. how can u hold a qualifying tournament when the t20 cup is held every two years. Definitely ur team is also a minnow.My team is also a minnow in a football field.

Posted by Sarfin on (June 30, 2011, 15:13 GMT)

Too many matches in world cups??? Ok. Then implement more and more knock out matches or such rounds where one "upset" by "minnows" can turn the table. Hold on!!! Your team might be kicked off just like in 2007?? Oh yeah!!! That's why you changed the pattern for 2011 world cup. Am I right??? And this is why you are afraid of "minnows" to be replaced by them??? That's the proof of the immense potentiality and threat the "minnows" have. To ESPNcricinfo, agreeing with some comments, I request you not to use the word "minnows".

Posted by reality_check on (June 30, 2011, 13:19 GMT)

And everyone thinks PCB is run incompetently. The way things are going, BCCI, I mean ICC, I mean BCCICC, will only organize tournaments between India, Australia and England. Maybe South Africa to even it out. Maybe also NZ and WI as they are both in western hemisphere plus the big dogs need someone to beat around for practice. That's the future of cricket in my crystal ball.

Posted by   on (June 30, 2011, 12:59 GMT)

In order to grow cricket globally, the ICC has decided to make the most accessible tournament of its most accessible format MORE exclusive. This is possibly the stupidest decision in the history of sport. Congratulations to all concerned.

Posted by   on (June 30, 2011, 12:58 GMT)

ICC is a joke factory. This ICC is not good for world cricket, they don't want small teams play cricket. ICC only knows India, England & Australia. They best decision for other countries is to boycott ICC and form another cricket body. Shame on you ICC. Bangladesh cricket fan.

Posted by gracegift on (June 30, 2011, 12:35 GMT)

ICC is not to blame. How many people will watch a minnows match? Hence advertisers do not find it profitable. There is a huge gap between the top ranked teams and lesser teams. ICC needs to work with these teams on a grassroots level and develop the game there ie. world class coaches. Players need to be given opportunities to play in domestic teams across the world. Associate teams will not learn too much if they are thrown into the cauldron underprepared. One or two stars do not make a team.

Posted by   on (June 30, 2011, 12:33 GMT)

"thus reducing their two flagship events into an Indian railway reservation chart for a fixed number of seats" - You know, all you guys at Cricinfo, that's why you people are awesome!! :D

Posted by cricket2011 on (June 30, 2011, 12:26 GMT)

Cricket Qualification should be like football qualification, all teams should play for qualification, Spread the game and enjoy all. We are in 21st Century.

Posted by viaESPN on (June 30, 2011, 12:05 GMT)

ICC doesnt want tat game has 2 start n finish it of with 1 side. to mak eagerness over every match, tey comes with tis decision. however monetary reasons behind ther tat audience likes 2 watch strong nations competition 1ly so tat TVs,adv, sponsors everything can be rented at huge money

Posted by ShaniJ on (June 30, 2011, 12:05 GMT)

Really stupid decision by I.C.C they take one step forward in, globalizing the game, and then two steps back!!!!

Posted by   on (June 30, 2011, 12:03 GMT)

With all the talk about ICC asking its member boards to become 'democratized' (http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci-icc/content/current/story/521351.html).

ICC clearly forgot that democracy doesn't mean no government interference. It firstly means equal representation.

ICC should democratize itself first and lead by example, if it even wants to have some moral power.

Posted by jackiethepen on (June 30, 2011, 11:08 GMT)

The majority of cricket fans want the game to spread and it was quite clear that in T20 teams have a chance that are denied to them in the lofty Test sphere. Look at the progress of Afghanistan and the impact on cricket that their team got to the T20 World Cup. This is about cricket as a great game that can bring comfort and enjoyment to billions. The ICC has got to become visionary. They bowed to the passion of fans and the Associates by letting them play in the 50-over WC. Now by the same understanding and logic they must listen to them regarding the T20 WC. The best TV is about passion and dreams. Cricket is a cut above football because its fans are not just loyal to their teams but loyal to the game and applaud good players from other sides.

Posted by   on (June 30, 2011, 10:56 GMT)

As far as minnows getting angry about being kicked out of T20...u cant have it all... ICC should organise ODIs and T20 fixures including these teams and Top teams apart from WCs. Just because of a commendable win over England, they cant think they could take on the best teams.. Apart from playin in WCs they should also be given the chance to play in triangular tournaments against India,Aus,Eng,SL... Minnows should seek a way to pressurize ICC into getting them regular matches, instead of crying and shouting over WC snubs.

Posted by stormy16 on (June 30, 2011, 10:36 GMT)

Folks the ICC hasnt thrown out ALL the associate teams but just including only 2 which is not really a bad thing. The WC is not the place to be playing meaningless games in the hope of an upset. This is the blue ticket event for the test playing nations allowing for two of the associates. You dont go to the soccer WC to watch Sri Lanka V Brazil or Paksitan V Bangladesh. Thats what qualifiers were invented so the actual WC is for the top teams only. Dont see anything wrong in that. As a matter of fact the 50 over WC should also be restricted to 12 for the same reason. There is a reason the associates dont play test cricket and we cannot just pretend it doesnt exist at the WC. Associates should be given the opportunity to develop the game but that cannot be once in 4 years at the WC but at a different level - may be part of the future tours program.

Posted by   on (June 30, 2011, 10:08 GMT)

Hi All,

It is the best decision ICC has taken, this will avoid boring matches at least in this format, ICC please take the same decision for 50 over format of the game.

Posted by   on (June 30, 2011, 9:34 GMT)

Is it me or does the ICC have no idea as to how to treat the Associate teams? Trim the 50 over World Cup and effectively kick them out. Trim the t20 and block any chance of them improving. To learn and improve, they need to be playing the big teams on a regular basis.

Posted by tfjones1978 on (June 30, 2011, 9:27 GMT)

The only way to improve the game is to make all Countries equal in vote with no blocking powers. Currently for a motion to pass it needs 8 of 10 members to support it as well as an overall vote with affiliate members worth only 0.08 votes each.

The rules of the game could still stay with the full members and full members could still decide whom to promote or demote, but equal membership would allow the lower ranked nations equal say in the running and thus equality of participating in the game.

Posted by   on (June 30, 2011, 9:27 GMT)

One really wonders what kind of governing body ICC really is. Forever going back and forth on its decisions, totally incapable of taking progressive steps. I can't recall when was the last time we had two successive world cups played with the same format. The problem is with us, the spectators. We only get interested when two major teams are playing and ICC just caters to that demand.

Posted by   on (June 30, 2011, 9:16 GMT)

This is just ridiculous from ICC! - A Sri Lankan.

Posted by BlorScouser on (June 30, 2011, 8:32 GMT)

Another short-sighted decision by the ICC. A few months back, the head of the IOC, Jacques Rogge, had expressed interest in cricket being included as an Olympic sport. The Twenty20 format is the most conducive for the Olympics, and if the ICC were serious about taking cricket to the Olympics, they would have gone all out in spreading the T20 game in a big way. Logic dictates that the ICC would have increased the number of competitors in the World Twenty20. However, there doesn't seem to be any logic in the running of global cricket.

Posted by   on (June 30, 2011, 8:10 GMT)

So many good decisions and then this shocker. I thought they agreed 50 over WC will be for the good teams and the T20 will be for spreading the game and giving minnows a chance. T20 should be at least 16 teams and the ODI just 10. Now they give the ODI one more teams...????

Posted by   on (June 30, 2011, 6:26 GMT)

Its because of the BCCI that the new entrants to cricket got a chance for the next world cup. The BCCI put in a strong word for inclusion of these new teams at the recently conducted meeting of the ICC in Hong Kong, only for cricket to develop and spread to new regions and the ICC is taking five steps back. Ridiculous.

Posted by CricSamraat on (June 30, 2011, 6:23 GMT)

ICC needs to be revamped - all existing members from the full member countries should be forcibly retired and replaced by a coherently thinking and younger feeling membership. The sooner it is done the better it would be for this beautiful game of cricket.

Posted by   on (June 30, 2011, 6:12 GMT)

The ICC, since WC 2007, has acted in the interest of finances rather than increasing quality and spreading the game internationally. Why would Associate and Affiliate nations bother to play or encourage the sport locally if there's little hope of ever advancing? If there continues to be such a wide disparity in the treatment of countries then cricket will fade into oblivion rather than prosper.

Posted by Prashant_Dhamija on (June 30, 2011, 6:08 GMT)

Don't know what ICC is trying to do. Globalizing the game or finishing it??

Posted by UriGagarin on (June 30, 2011, 5:53 GMT)

Maybe they should look at the rugby 7's as a model - there's basically 4 awards on offer - do well and you get to go for the top one, fail you are still in with a chance of the lesser ones. Its an opportunity of playing big teams and those at your level to really sort out whose got it . Plus each match is IMPORTANT.

Posted by mnmresan on (June 30, 2011, 5:51 GMT)

ICC is trying to screw up the Cricket......... Don't let BCCI decide what international Cricket do. it will be a disaster for cricket.....

Posted by   on (June 30, 2011, 5:40 GMT)

Ruch - you're in a minority. Everybody else wants to see Ireland/Kenya/Netherlands/Scotland/Canada/Afghanistan etc. do well, and get a chance to play the big boys. They've all got some seriously talented players, I want to see Niall and Kevin o'Brien smashing Harbhajan out of the park, and Ryan Ten Doeschate cover-driving James Anderson. I'm sick of seeing the big teams play each other, they do that all year round on television anyway! The World Cup and World T20 is supposed to be just that, a WORLD-WIDE competition. Let's keep it like that ICC, stop messing it up.

Posted by Alistair0610 on (June 30, 2011, 5:38 GMT)

Some more bad calls by the ICC, perhaps they should have another look at this on Hawkeye.

Posted by   on (June 30, 2011, 5:04 GMT)

F-50 world Cup should be for Test Teams and T20 World cups should be among Associate and Affiliate nations. End quote.

Posted by   on (June 30, 2011, 5:02 GMT)

Funny how people are saying it was a mistake to make Bangladesh a full member and what happens when India leads. Bangladesh won their first test much earlier than India or Pakistan - who took almost 10 years to win first test. And Bangladesh is constantly improving in every year. Bangladesh doesn't get funding from ICC, how ever Cricket is progressing in corrupted environment in Bangladesh is through will power and interest in cricket .. Also People in Bangladesh play and promote cricket globally far more than any other nations.

And talking of Indian leadership, ICC has only recently started being greedy and looking into interests if sponsors and tv rather than Cricket. But ICC reached its global peak when Jagomohan Dalmia was president who was also Indian. Thats when Cricket started growing in all other countries.

Posted by Vishwas1997 on (June 30, 2011, 4:49 GMT)

What is wrong with ICC? Why are they doing such stuff in the past few months?

Posted by Dilseben on (June 30, 2011, 4:46 GMT)

ICC has been screaming out from every roof that they want Cricket to be included in Olympics.But the present attitude of denying opportunities to the Associates is just gonna have an adverse effect to their so called efforts. I just dont get it as to why they cant have T20 WC just like the football world cup...after all that is equally exhausting or maybe even more..if football can have 32 teams why cant these people atleast have 16 & try to popularise the game. I guess BCCI is instructing ICC to just get teams which will fill their coffers!!! I am proud to be an Indian & also of my awesome cricket team, but I dont hesitate to say that BCCI is the worst cricket board owing to their outrageous decisions & utter disregard for other countries. ICC is a puppet in BCCI's hands just like UN in the hands of US!!!

Posted by   on (June 30, 2011, 4:31 GMT)

I can't believe ICC took this decision. T20 is 'the' device in cricket's armory that has the potential to revolutionize the game in terms of globalization. And then you have decisions like these. Ludicrous.

Posted by MaxG9 on (June 30, 2011, 4:26 GMT)

I personally believe that the T20 World Cup should be for 16 teams as in the shorter version of the game relative strengths narrow somewhat & the game is globalized more. The 50 over WC should balance globalizing the game with eliminating complete mismatches & length of the t'ment. I have suggested this before, but have the 8 best ranked teams go straight to the 'final' & have a qualifier where 4 teams among 10 to 12 teams (chosen in some way) join them. Then have 3 groups of 4 each where the winner & runner up of each group go to a Super 6 where all play all. Have 2 semi finals & a final or have a best of 3 or 5 final between the 2 top teams. All this (excluding the qualifying t'ment), will work out to less matches than in the last World Cup, have the best 2 teams in the t'ment competing in the finals, ensure that the best teams meet each other in the Super 6 & give the lesser teams experience at the highest level whilst ensuring better competitive cricket for the most part.

Posted by cricket2011 on (June 30, 2011, 4:21 GMT)

There are lot of great players they played and still playing for Associate countries. Because of ICC bad decision they don't get good opportunity in cricket careers. If a player has ability like Scahin Tendulker, but if he plays for such countries they never take their full efforts. In 2003 world cup John davison, formar Canada captain made fastest century and halfcentury against West Indies and Newzealand bu after that he doesn't get opportunity to play against good team. Kenya was semi finalist in 2003 wc but after that what happend, they didn't get opportunity to play against good teams. There are lot of great players they play in Associates countries like Ryan ten Doeschate, Kevin Obrein, Nial Obrein, Paul Stirling, Trent Jonsten, Docrell, Borren, Karveezee, Morgan, Afghan players etc. They are cricketers , they want to prove their ability. Give opportunity to them.

Kevin Obrein made

Posted by Rakesh_Sharma on (June 30, 2011, 3:50 GMT)

Why has ICC (Indian ? Cricket council) suddenly started doing stuff since last one year which angers the associates?. The things are simple. 50 overs Wc must always be 12 teams in 2019 and beyond. Two spots for qualifiers now that they have made a mistake of making Bangladesh Full member.T20 must be handed over to Olympics so that they can have atleast 16 teams.Two gold medals will be at stake ,one men and one women. Even China,USA ,Russia will start taking cricket seriously and the game will really spread.

Posted by harshalb on (June 30, 2011, 3:29 GMT)

This way the game will not grow and eventually minnows will drop out of cricket due to lack of interest in public

Posted by NaveenKumarHA on (June 30, 2011, 3:07 GMT)

ICC should reconsider this they are not interested fro popularity of the game they are killing the game, it is a big shame for ICC, I can't understand there decision shame, shame, shame, shame, shame, shame,,,,,,,,,,,,

Posted by   on (June 30, 2011, 3:03 GMT)

This happens when INDIAN rules organization...double standard and conservative

Posted by   on (June 30, 2011, 2:46 GMT)

Cut all the damn round robin games and get on with the tournaments. Its so obviously about money and while that's all well and good the resulting overkill is bad for fans. The last world cup was so dull it was like having your eyes bored out. Have 32 teams, one preliminary round and the 16 winners put in four groups. Three group games each, one team progresses to a regular quarter, semi, final stage. I'm all for spreading the game but watching minnows getting slaughtered day after day is just boring. Let them in the tournament but get them out of it as soon as possible too. Giving the likes of Holland and Kenya six games before they even get eliminated is just shameless cash grabbing, but from the look of the crowds at some of the games it backfired badly.

Posted by   on (June 30, 2011, 2:37 GMT)

yes, agree with ALex houghton, there is always some notorious plans to keep the weaker teams weaker........ bring more countries and more knock out....... less matches and everyone will be happy. otherwise the qualifiers will lose their strength in continuous qualifying matches and the so called big bziness teams will be playing extended 2nd round.............. why there shud be extended 2nd round. make it quarter final and then semis and then final...... the world cup will be more intersting..... it is boring to see the bigger teams playing the 2nd round in league basis........

Posted by Ruch on (June 30, 2011, 1:59 GMT)

Why didn't they do the same for ODIS. We really don't want to see 4 minors competing at a 50over world cup. BORING!!!! 2 spots max would have been nice. - BAN, IRE, ZIM, KEN can compete for that between world cups over a tournament lasting 3months for all I care

But only wants to see max 2 minors in the big event

Posted by   on (June 30, 2011, 0:19 GMT)

On reading further into the story the ODI league sytem as agreed by the FTP today further supports more knockout games at world cups. In the same way the Premier League is perfectly complimented by the FA Cup.

Posted by inder23 on (June 30, 2011, 0:19 GMT)

wats wrong with ICC. T20 WC shud be of 20 teams. it is the most unpredictable form of Cricket. i do believe that associates will perform better in this version of the game. Common ICC give them a chance.

Posted by   on (June 30, 2011, 0:00 GMT)

@ Prash Smith ..... agree with mikeindex, i loved the game and i will love it actually....... but u know what... being a neutral viewer wacthing a test match between South Africa vs Australia is good, but it is better when i find Ireland beating England in a world cup 50 over match...... @ Prash Smith: Again , yes u say it has been a hundred yrs old game .... yes good history ......some 2/3 countries played this..... if u want that then there shud be no ICC, no competitive cricket tournament and these so called affiliates will play all day long in their backyard........ and be happy........but if u have an ICC, want it as a global sport think globally for a global tournament. stop auto choices... well, keep qualifiers for all the nations in the world and the stronger teams can send their C team even to the qualifiers if they think themselves so strong.........

Posted by ajm63 on (June 29, 2011, 23:57 GMT)

The caption on the photo summed up the situation nicely - until the inequality in the ICC's voting situation changes the 'Associates' will fight this sort of battle again, again and again. In soccer, American Samoa has the same rights as Germany

Posted by   on (June 29, 2011, 23:52 GMT)

The biggest problem with the international cricket format is that every tournament has round after round of group stages. Why not play more knockout, winner takes all cricket, there are too many dead rubbers and too many games where even if you get beaten by a lesser nation you can still scrape through on net run rate. That's the problem with the tournament is that when for example Ireland beat England they still faced a huge task of qualifying because the game is set up to keep minnows minnows. I understand cricket is a game where any team can win on it's day but use that as an asset to the game rather than and inconvenience.

Posted by   on (June 29, 2011, 22:59 GMT)

I propose a 16 team WC just like 2007. It was good to see lots of the lower countries playing, and in Irelands case beating the big boys. Also, have a 24 team T20 WC, 8 groups of 3, top place goes through the super 8/quarter finals. This way tons of associates get top level exposure. Look at Afghanistan. They are brilliant against other associates, but against full members they really struggle, due to lack of top level exposure. Now look at soccer. They can fit 32 teams into a WC. Of course, soccer is a closer game and more chance of an upset, but if they fit 32 teams into a WC, surely we can fit more that 12 in a T20 WC!

Posted by crikkfan on (June 29, 2011, 22:20 GMT)

Absolutely ridiculous. There shouldn't be any 'compromise' or relation between the 2 main events - but if there has to be, globalizing T20 among affiliates and associates should be given HIGHER priority than a couple of more associates playing 50-50 WC. It will not be too out of place to have a 32 team - A through H groups of 4 teams each - playing T20 WC , not dissimilar to soccer wc format. Will make for some exciting names like Germany, Papua new Guinea, Argentina etc playing cricket and more eyes are likely to turn to this truly global event.

Posted by Johnjoy on (June 29, 2011, 21:59 GMT)

The game must grow.... ICC must understand that.

Posted by sifter132 on (June 29, 2011, 21:57 GMT)

Minnows should be happy with what they get. But yeah, the ICC should stop backflipping. A 12 team World Cup and a 14-16 team T20 World Cup sounds right to me.

Posted by TropicPleasure on (June 29, 2011, 21:34 GMT)

I've maintained for a long time that the ICC is cricket's biggest enemy. Decisions like this strengthen my argument

Posted by   on (June 29, 2011, 21:30 GMT)

Some countries are going to be minnows in any format at least for the next couple of years ..countries like Bangladesh and Pakistan. They are no good in T20, 50 overs or Tests. Add to this list, Kenya and Zimbabwe. Now the interesting question is what defines a minnow..i am assuming it is a lack of consistency...flash in the pan wins cannot be considered as "achievement". Would we also assert that anybody outside the top 4 would be considered minnows or should it be outside the top 8. I agree with some comments that T20 and only in the context of T20..it is very difficult to define who a minnow is and who a giant is. In my humble opinion, T20 should be open to all, 50 overs should have a qualification and cut off and TEST should be with a Tier system. India might be Tier 1 today but tier 2 is 2 years...who knows...

Posted by LeScotsman on (June 29, 2011, 20:56 GMT)

Yet another despicable move by the ICC. Their petty politicking, greed, and this latest piece of horse trading are killing the game - not slowly, but within four years. There is no logical or fair justification for this decision, or that to reduce the 2019 World Cup to 10 teams. Did anyone see they axed the U19 World Cup qualifiers, too? It is vital we all speak up, email the ICC, spread any articles on the matter and comment as much as we can to keep the issue (and cricket's future) alive.

Posted by mikeindex on (June 29, 2011, 20:54 GMT)

@Prash Smith: you think cricket should be kept an elitist sport. And why? - 'because that's part of its history'. And that's a good reason in itself. I take it you disapprove of Test status being granted to NZ, WI and India in 1928-33 and would prefer to see Tests played only between the elites of England, Australia and an all-white South Africa.

Posted by TwitterJitter on (June 29, 2011, 20:26 GMT)

It boils down to money. The issue is that a lot of full-time boards don't make any money and ICC tournaments are a means of breaking even (or reducing annual losses) for these boards and will also kind of determine their own bonuses. ICC sets aside a pool of money to distributed among participating nations and the rest goes to development activities. So more nations means these boards will have to split the tournament money (means smaller share for each). This means no bonuses or even could have more years with balance sheets in red. Hence, the push to reduce the teams to share the bounty. This is unhealthy and is leading to all sorts of irrational decisions from the perspective of globalizing the sport. I bet if China or Canada come and say that would contribute 5 mill dollars for each ICC tournament they participate in, boards would vote them in as full-time members in 5 minutes.

Posted by dulabhai on (June 29, 2011, 20:24 GMT)

What is going on with ICC? Why are they making these crazy decisions? 50 over WC should have 12 teams..and T20 WC should have 16 teams...not the other way around.

Posted by   on (June 29, 2011, 20:14 GMT)

The worst thing about this ruling is that the five ICC regions have totally changed the way they play competitive cricket in order to feed qualification for the World Twenty 20 next year. For years Associates and Affiliates have played 50 over cricket, but this was switched as soon as the news of the increase to 16 teams came. We're in the middle of qualification at the moment, and teams below the top 6 saw qualification as a realistic possibility, only to be dashed this week.

There's no good reason for this ruling other than as a sop to those who wanted a 10 team WC. The format is very similar for 12 teams and 16 teams, it's just one extra 3 hour match match for each team, meaning Australia etc, have to play 2 'minnows' rather than 1, so the 'mis-match' argument for keeping it 12 is really thin.

Posted by Dilmah82 on (June 29, 2011, 20:11 GMT)

Surely T20 is the way to spread the game globally for the future, and the format could be used in a global event such as the Olympics or COmmonwealth Games, what is the ICC thinking!

Posted by Saim93 on (June 29, 2011, 20:09 GMT)

Who cares? I am a Pakistani but when we lost the cup in 2010 i wasnt very sad about it, main cricket formats for me are the ODI's and Tests, Associates should be happy they get to play in the real world cup.

Posted by mixx on (June 29, 2011, 20:06 GMT)

watching the same croup of guys play each other over and over again gets boring!!!! ICC what the hell is wrong with you, the last t20 & 50 over world cups were fun!!

Posted by haha1 on (June 29, 2011, 19:55 GMT)

1970s decision, PATHETIC!!!

Posted by   on (June 29, 2011, 19:49 GMT)

@Ashik Imran . You mentioned you were loosing interest in cricket because it only consists of 5 or 6 teams. Well news flash for you but thats mainly how it is and has been for the last 100 years at least. I dont remember scotland or ireland playing a test match do you? so how can u loose interest in proper cricket. You sound like one of those jump on the band wagon 20 20 cricket fans who onoly got interested in it when you saw a format that was quick, easy and open to all at one time.

Posted by   on (June 29, 2011, 19:46 GMT)

I must be the only person here that thinks the ICC decision is a good one. I have my reasons. Firstly Cricket should be kept an elitist sport where only the best most recognized cricket playing nations compete against each other! why? well because that is part of its history and not only that i dont want to see my beloved sport of cricket go the same way like every other tom dick and harry sport. Also if more countries are involved in tests,one day internationals etc...where will it stop? soon the minnows will be spoiling cricket by creating surplus 10-20 over tournaments and will try to force test cricket out and will try to embelish quick cricket as a norm. I do not want cricket to from being a quality test if bat and ball to a game where we see village standard cricket countries take on the likes of SA, India,England in mainly 20 over or less matches.Out with the minnows and long live cricket purity! i'd hate to think what wally hammond,eddie paynter would have 2 say about minnows!!

Posted by dinith_sw on (June 29, 2011, 19:38 GMT)

Don't we get a dislike/disapprove button? This needs one. And an opportunity to close the article when it becomes clear to everyone that the number of disapproves increases exponentially to every recommend? :) Horrendous revelation.

Posted by   on (June 29, 2011, 19:28 GMT)

I am really losing interest in this game of cricket........... it looks like a game of 5/6 countries.............. probably it is high time we stopped our expenditure on cricket and move to football......... that is far more fair/////// even the world champions do not get autpmatic choice and they also have to play with the weakest but they do not shout calling MINNOWS...............

Posted by   on (June 29, 2011, 19:24 GMT)

ICC should allow max participation of minnow in T20 format....Test cricket is understandable where one require lot of skills.........but T20 is altogether a different ball game. The competition not only will be exciting but it helps in globalizing the game of cricket....................Request ICC not to disappoint cricket lover & enthusiastic fans..

Posted by   on (June 29, 2011, 19:24 GMT)

ICC = international clown council makes another excellent decision ... shame

Posted by   on (June 29, 2011, 19:23 GMT)

who are the minnows in t-20 cricket ? and who r the giants? this format is only a few yrs old........... so how do we know ? ok agree with 12 teams..... then australia, south africa like teams shud play the qualifiers.............on a continental basis..... there shud be no auto choice , and so no mismatch.........so what do u say ........@ mr.vivekdhayalan....

Posted by AndyZaltzmannsHair on (June 29, 2011, 19:23 GMT)

Cricket at times, is quite frankly embarrassing with its insularity. It's like an old gentlemen's club where "undesirables" aren't allowed and you constantly have to justify your insular existence to others; whilst the outsiders constantly mutter away at the banality of why they're not allowed in. Either cricket opens up or it dies a slow painful death, which is it to be?

Posted by ghumant on (June 29, 2011, 19:18 GMT)

suggestion for FIFA: follow examples from ICC, make place for only two Asian team in the world cup, if not only one. more Asian team more mismatch. do same for Africa, north America and Oceania. in fact you can totally deny all of them any place and stick only to selected teams from Europe and south America. the matches will be good and minimum mismatch. that will be a watchable world cup. who cares about the whole world any more, i am a selfish person like many other and i don't want my entertainment spoiled. oh, by the way, if you need more money you can spare a place for India too. contact bcci for suggestion.

Posted by RamSek on (June 29, 2011, 19:04 GMT)

Very poor choice of words. Minnows?

Why does ESPN keep insisting on being derogatory to the 'upcoming cricket teams' ? That's very insulting. What happened to euphemiism anyway? Or, does each journalist swear to drop euphemism at the door when s/he starts working for ESPN Cricinfo??

Posted by   on (June 29, 2011, 19:03 GMT)

The ICC seems like a ship without a rudder, aimlessly making decisions then changing, then making new ones, then changing them..... get some common sense people running the show. 14 team WC and a 16 team T20 WC - sounds more like a global sport to me that way.

Posted by   on (June 29, 2011, 19:01 GMT)

ICC is insane..no wonder football will forever be the most popular sport. They wanted to reduce the number of teams in the 50over world cup to reduce mismatches..now they also want to reduce t20????? any one can win a t20 game.let them give the smaller teams a chance in the t20 version. After all it doesnt take long..ireland hardly plays international games yet they still come up n surprise the likes of england..imagine wat they would be like if they played the tops teams more regularly that way they wont even have to lose their good players to england...ICC SHOULD RETHINK THIS AND GIVE THOSE COUNTRIES A CHANCE.OTHER WISE THERE IS NO POINT PLAYING THE GAME IF YOU WONT BE GIVEN AN OPPORTUNITY TO SHOWCASE WHAT YOU CAN DO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Charindra on (June 29, 2011, 18:56 GMT)

ICC... oh ICC... You've got it all wrong. World Cup should have only 12 teams, and the World T-20 should have 16. This is a mess....

Posted by gmoturu on (June 29, 2011, 18:54 GMT)

what is wrong with ICC. why don't they let associates to play cricket. if you don't allow them to play then don't dream about expanding cricket. money is not more than cricket. and give IRELAND the test status. they will figure out the rest.

Posted by Vinod on (June 29, 2011, 18:45 GMT)

What is ICC doing ? These bunch of jokers instead of globalizing the game (which they should), they are reducing the game to only a few nations! This is the most ridiculous decision which was taken during this ICC conference in Hong Kong among others like having no runners for batsmen.

I think ICC should rethink its mission and objective! More cricket for minnows, they will do better. Why don't the ICC cancels the FTP and instead create a league for ODI and T20 where each country plays equal number of matches against other teams in their tier?

Also Full member vs. Associate member and Affiliate voting concept should be abolished. We are in 21st century and Associate and Affiliate teams are not slaves!

Posted by   on (June 29, 2011, 18:44 GMT)

Just ridiculous! There needs to be more like 24 teams. Have regional qualifiers like they do in Football. Asia/Arabia could be split into two areas and provide 8 teams, Oceania/East Asia 3 Teams, Africa 5 teams, Europe 4 teams and the Americas/Carribean 4 teams and they would go directly into the World Cup with every nation having to qualify. I don't think this would burden major nations as they could easily qualify with 'A' teams and at the same time offer critical match play to smaller nations while at the same time providing experience to their own younger players in foreign conditions. All of this regional qualifying and then some 16 team play off for two places is ridiculous, particularly when some of those countries can adequately compete with automatic qualifiers. T20 has enormous potential to access a wider global audience and the ICC board almost appears to be running away from that idea with this decision. And everyone thought FIFA was bad!

Posted by   on (June 29, 2011, 18:39 GMT)

Its about time we stopped calling the lesser cricketing nations as minnows. It's such a derogatory term. No other sport uses such a belittling term for lower ranked teams. After seeing the numerous upsets in WC2011, i think this word should be abolished for good from international cricket!

Posted by nafzak on (June 29, 2011, 18:37 GMT)

The problem with the WC has never been the number of teams or matches. It has always been PLAYING ONLY ONE MATCH PER DAY for most of the tournament. That is why it goes on seemingly forever.

Posted by NomiJ on (June 29, 2011, 18:36 GMT)

ICC wants complete monopoly and having more minnows means less exertion of power.

Posted by sandeepsat on (June 29, 2011, 18:29 GMT)

ICC has done well here.....They are rite in this case as perhaps if 6 all associates qualify then we will be witnessing lot matches that nobody will care nd that should not happen in a world stage...Run playoffs get the best 2 and pitch them in with the full members....

Posted by skn005 on (June 29, 2011, 18:28 GMT)

What... this is outrageous.... how can they be angry at ICC.... i am sure there is BCCI involved somehow ;) .... lets all blame bcci for this like everything else.... u make it 16 teams,ppl will say matches are boring.... u make it 12, minnows cry..am sure even if it is 14 there would be some problem....

Posted by harshuuuu on (June 29, 2011, 18:22 GMT)

O...Cmon, you guys really want to see minnows getting thrashed around...give me a break...did'nt we see enough of that in the 50 over world cup...i totally agree with this decision..minnows need to play a tournament amongst themselves and top 2 teams should qualify. Once they get to top level, then more teams should be made full member teams and included in world cup...in the meantime, have them tour countries and play A and B teams and counties...can't have a super competitive tournament like a world cup marred by amature teams...In fact, a team like Zimbabwe should be part of the minnows...they used to be a decent team once upon a time, not anymore...they should qualify along with the others...I think this should be followed for the 20 over and 50 over world cup...Good Decision ICC - Now please do not change it under pressure...

Posted by   on (June 29, 2011, 18:22 GMT)

I Dont Get How Cricket will be global when they reduce Teams of T20 World from 16 to 12 i dont understand ICC ... I think in ICC Blind and Stupid Idiot making a Decision... T20 is the only game to Grow faster and faster.. and 50 or Test these Weak team cant play that.. Even if u see Bangladesh in 25 Years what Bangladesh achieved nothing.. they cant beat Australia .. or England. or India or Pakistan. ICC should give full chance to Minnows in T20... if not then They should forget Cricket a global sport. Cricket is just 8 Countries sport..

Posted by   on (June 29, 2011, 18:15 GMT)

i thought ICC said how t20 is the best format for associates country and this is why they made a stupid decision of cutting 14 teams to 10 for 2015 world cup. what happened now why 16 to 12 i thought t20 is good for associates. i'm confused, wait this proves ICC is trying to kick teams like ireland, canada, netherlands,scotland, kenya out. shame on you ICC. but thanks for bringing 4 teams back to 2015 worldcup.

Posted by Rakesh_Sharma on (June 29, 2011, 18:13 GMT)

Associates must actively initiate campaign to introduce T20 cricket in Olympics. Olympics is keen for this as well. 16 team T20 Gold /silver for mens and womens team.This will be the sure shot route to Cricket globalization. Since 2 Gold medals are involved even countries like Germany, China, Usa , Russia will take cricket seriously.

Posted by   on (June 29, 2011, 18:12 GMT)

Are the ICC reducing the number of teams in the World T20 to punish the Associates and Affiliates for daring to stand up to them over the 50 over World Cup decision?

Posted by   on (June 29, 2011, 18:11 GMT)

Well I always thought the ICC really made a good move by holding a really global qualifier and having the chance for 6 minnows to go through, True yeah most of the lesser teams would get thrashed perhaps, however this will give opportunity to let the public in their countries open their eyes to cricket in the least and perhaps increase the popularity of cricket in the process. Personally I would have loved to see PNG play and thought they would have had a good chance to qualify for the tournament, they seem to have come up the ranks and greatly improved as well.

Posted by Rakesh_Sharma on (June 29, 2011, 18:10 GMT)

Totally agree with Tom Sears. ICC decisions are illogical . First they totally eliminated Associates. Associates asked for 2 spots. Surprisingly and illogically changed to 14 teams. Just 2 were enough for 50 overs WC. 16 Team T20 was perfect. Why the hell they reduced this. And now for WC2019 again 10 teams.Why. Why do you not keep 50 overs WC with 12 teams and T20 with 16 teams atleast till 2030. Stop this illogical manipulations. The problem is India has disproportionately high money influence and having politically made Associate Bangladesh as Full member ,it is playing with things all around with lately having befriended Zimbabwe..

Posted by 998ima on (June 29, 2011, 18:07 GMT)

Play as much as teams in the T20 WC. But keep ODI WC to 10 . Top 10 ranked teams ( Not just 10 full members) .Too many minnows is going to make ODI WC a farce.

Posted by vasend on (June 29, 2011, 18:05 GMT)

Cricket never going to be a global sports....

Posted by apoorvkumark on (June 29, 2011, 18:05 GMT)

This is an absolutely absurd decision. There should have been more teams playing the shorter version of the Game. Longer the Format better the Quality of Play and so the Associates should have been playing this version rather them including them in the 50-Over version. ICC had earlier said it would use T20 format in spreading the game and now they decide not to even let the minnows participate. Smells more than development of the Game.

Posted by   on (June 29, 2011, 18:04 GMT)

I WANT TO SAY TO CRICINFO............. If Brazilians or Argentinians or Germans start to say that look, look............. some minnows are trying to qualify for the world cup 2014, and pointing to the weaker teams ( but stronger teams in cricket )and they do it continuously by calling minnows...... how will that feel ? To try to lower other countries is not the only way to be big...........

Posted by baskar_guha on (June 29, 2011, 18:01 GMT)

World cricket needs a new structure as ICC is a colonial relic that is now yielding to the new economic imperialists in town, India.

Posted by   on (June 29, 2011, 18:00 GMT)

I think all the teams playing in a world cup shud play qualifying round ........ there shud not be any automatic choice........ being one of the 10 full nations, i want this.

Posted by Monjur_Elahi on (June 29, 2011, 17:56 GMT)

Don't worry associate countries, they are playing politics with you. Perhaps you have not yet agreed to vote in favour of the cancellation of the ICC chief selection process. You do that and 16 teams will be given the opportunity to participate. Its kind of amusing to see that India is running the show and making fools out of the ones who once ruled them.

Posted by Vernacular_Press on (June 29, 2011, 17:53 GMT)

16 teams there will be more mismatches than matches like chennai vs wayamba .12 is enough.

Posted by AsherCA on (June 29, 2011, 17:51 GMT)

The minnows' boards are upset at the reduction in # of their representatives in the WC. They are planning to make their presence felt in ICC meetings - the right way for them to take this would be to come up with cricket teams that make their presence felt in the # of limited opportunities they get. The right way for them to prepare their teams would be touring full member countries for practice games, not necassirily with the top sides. An India A / India B side, a counties 11 in England etc....invite A / B sides from full member countries.

Posted by khurramsch on (June 29, 2011, 17:42 GMT)

this is not fair. i mean give them chance to play more so that new nations comes in cricket. you dont even give them ftp matches. ireland will play less than 10 matches with full members in nest year so how they will learn? make this game an international not 10/12 nations

Posted by rumcork69 on (June 29, 2011, 17:36 GMT)

The ICC seems to making decision about the asscoiate nation with closed eyes. Another decision the ICC will have to overturn. How do they expect cricket popularity to grow. Shame on you ICC. T20 is the game which will bring popularity to cricket

Posted by   on (June 29, 2011, 17:35 GMT)

teams like Afghanistan, Netherland, Scotland and Kenya are likely to qualify in WC 2015. Therefore we need a 16 member t20, to ensure that teams like Ireland, Canada and Namibiya do stay in Cricket.

Posted by   on (June 29, 2011, 17:33 GMT)

Can't understand why the World Twenty20 is going to feature four less Associate teams now. Twenty20 is the best format for them to get used to playing at the international level without having to watch a Full Member nation run up 350+ scores. I know the Associates want to play ODIs, but practically none of them (barring Ireland and the Netherlands) can bat out 50 overs on a regular basis. Let's see how well they do just playing 20 overs. If they can consistently compete in the Twenty20 arena, then they'll have a stronger argument for playing ODIs. They have such limited opportunities at the top because really, who wants to see Canada and Kenya struggle for 50 overs? It's criminal to think that so many countries play cricket, yet the ICC has never had a global tournament featuring more than 15 countries (sometimes not through their own fault). Twenty20 is the best way to spread the game in new territories, especially those largely unfamiliar with cricket.

Posted by NaveenKumarHA on (June 29, 2011, 17:31 GMT)

this is not a good decision by ICC they should try to expand the cricket playing nations so playing with 16 teams in twenty20 world cup is helpful for that. ICC should think of it, otherwise this is very ugly decision from ICC are they trying to kill the cricket in minnows country.................

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