ICC news September 12, 2011

Qualifying league for 2015 World Cup

ESPNcricinfo staff

The ICC has announced an additional qualifying tournament for the 2015 World Cup, involving Associate and Affiliate nations, to determine the four participants that will join the ten Full Members for the event in Australia and New Zealand. The new tournament essentially gives some of those teams a second chance at qualifying for the World Cup, to which they had initially been barred before the ICC did a volte-face in June. The decision was taken at the ICC's Chief Executives' Committee meeting in London.

The ICC adopted a Development Committee proposal to conduct a 50-overs league involving eight teams, with the top two qualifying for the 2015 World Cup. The eight participants will include the top two sides from the World Cricket League Division 2 as well. The six teams that fail to qualify from the league will be joined by the third and fourth sides from the WCL Division 2 for another qualifying tournament to determine the final two participants in the 2015 World Cup. The venue and date for the qualifying tournaments has not been decided.

"This will provide exciting context for the new 50-over league with every one of the Associate and Affiliate teams able to make their way from division eight of the World Cricket League all the way to the ICC Cricket World Cup finals," Haroon Lorgat, the ICC chief executive said.

Ireland's veteran fast bowler Trent Johnston was full of praise for the ICC's decision. "I think they've got it spot on. The beauty of a league means that more often than not the best two sides will emerge on top. I don't think that was necessarily the case at the ICC Trophy in South Africa in 2009. There's always the fall back for the countries that don't make it with the additional two places at the qualifying tournament in Scotland."

The ICC had reversed its decision to exclude Associates from the 2015 World Cup on June 28, during the ICC's annual conference in Hong Kong.

Regarding the issue of venue accreditation - a new method for evaluating international venues - the CEC agreed to consolidate all the required standards into a new document but did not agree to a system of grading venues.

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  • rabin on September 14, 2011, 2:19 GMT

    Good news for the associates/ affiliates nations and gr8 for our Nepalese team which open the door to compete qualifiers for WC 2015. i want to see my country playing matches against ODI nations. For qualifying we have long way to go..n hope we get some platform to show our ability most essentially playing domestic games against Indian clubs, teams can support to take our game to another level. Nepalese team has shown fantastic great performances in U19 world cup qualifications and we have better chance to go forward playing against Australia and England in U-19 WORLD CUP next year:)

  • KISH on September 13, 2011, 22:02 GMT

    @Sameer_cricfan Good point. Indian domestic competition did have England A and some other teams playing as a team in the past. Rather than letting England A or Australia A to do so, India should try and include Nepal, Malaysia, Afghan etc. But, I have to admit that I am not a fan of having too many weak teams in the competition. The best way to play World cup was to have top 6 teams from the previous world cup qualify automatically and have another 6 teams qualify by playing home and away like in Soccer or by playing a league. That way, the non-test playing countries will also have a chance to play against the strong test playing countries as well. That will keep them in contention when they finally play the world cup, because it won't be a totally new experience for them.

  • Khizr on September 13, 2011, 20:46 GMT

    This is absolutely good news! ICC is now thinking right.

  • Sameer on September 13, 2011, 13:20 GMT

    Well done ICC... I am a Nepalese fan and desparately want to see my country in WC which I am sure we are capable of... You may not know but we are ranked 12th in U19.... I feel the best way to improve Assosciates countries is to allow them to play full season in domestic cricket in neighbouring Test nation as a TEAM itself..... I mean the best thing that can help Nepalese cricket is to allow Nepal to play as a Ranji side in India.

  • Dummy4 on September 13, 2011, 6:12 GMT

    Good step by the ICC.The next step would be for improving teams like Ireland and Netherlands get Test status in future and play one-off tests vs teams which tour England.Like suppose if Australia or India were to play 5 test series in England they could play one-off tests in Netherlands and Ireland at either end of the test series.

  • Balaji on September 13, 2011, 6:06 GMT

    Most of you have totally misunderstood the qualification process it is only for the associate/affiliate countries, the permanent members automatically qualify. I agree with TrickDaddy the associated have long way to go, ireland makes lot of noise, you have guys seen their stadium there is none. In my opinion nepal u19 showed lot of promised proxity to the subcontinent will give nepal/afghanisthan the best chance going forward, it is better for ireland to merge with england or scotland, there is no need for a seperate team, if you see most ireland cricketers anyway play for england.

  • Tichadi on September 13, 2011, 5:36 GMT

    @ MeanBeans The teams you talked about will not be part of this qualification process, they still get an automatic ticket to WC. This qualification process is just for assosiates and affiliates..Even if WI,NZ,ZIM and Bang were to be put in this group it would be meaningless coz they would all qualify, associates and Ireland in particular are improving but not good enough yet, beating England in a one off doesnt mean anything really...

  • Simon on September 13, 2011, 5:05 GMT

    Good stuff. I personally believe a seeding system like in the RWC or tennis would suit cricket. The top eight teams in the rankings automatically qualify, the others have to battle it out in qualifiers. The idea that all teams should have to qualify would not work. Every region, barring Asia, would be like the Oceanic region in soccer, One team clear ahead of the competition and one that can occasionally provide a fight. The rest are just playing for pride.

  • chandana on September 13, 2011, 4:52 GMT

    @ Balldinho: Mate as noble as ur thoughts are it will never be possible to have regional qualifiers. Remember unlike any other sport / game CRICKET takes one whole day to decide a winner (and sometimes even that is not enough). Also remember it is only one form of the game ODI ; there are TESTs and T20s also + domestic touranaments and other simillar world tournaments (like IPL, Champions League, Champions Trophy, U19 WC, U17 WC, etc etc.) Each country will need 100s of players if all these were played to gether with qualifiers for all. Look at football; e.g England seem to have a pool of 40 for Euro Qualifiers and they play only for 90 minutes!! A bteer method would be to have the present ranking system with 4 tiers of 6 teams each. That would mean India, Australia, South Africa, Srilanka, Pakistan, England in tier 1. West Indies, New Zealand, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, Ireland, Kenya in tier 2 and so on. promotion and demotion among tiers will decide who shud be in the WC like in EPL.

  • laxman on September 13, 2011, 4:39 GMT

    Thank you ICC. You have given a real chance for Ireland and Holland to compete in WC 2015. Still ICC should have created a third stage where the bottom four test playing nations in ODI rankings have competed with the four qualifiers to find the best four. This would have restricted the number of teams participating in the main event to 10 which is also liong term objective ofthe cricket body.

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