ICC chiefs voice support for Associates
ICC chairman N Srinivasan has said cricket's governing body was committed to spending $300 million on Associate countries.
"There will be an eight-year cycle during which this amount will be spent," Srinivasan said during the World Cup final in Melbourne on Sunday. "We want the Associate nations to develop a sound domestic structure which will help in having a good system.
"It took India eight years to develop a system where we are now having a strong domestic supply chain of players. The Ranji Trophy, Duleep Trophy and age-group is so structured, and that's why India is where it is today."
When interviewed by the broadcaster during the final, Srinivasan had defended the ten-team World Cup in 2019, reasoning that the Associates would have a "meaningful chance" of qualifying for the tournament. "I think it has been very successful because we have seen that on a given day the top Associate is able to hold its own against the Full Members … Ireland versus West Indies, for example.
"And even the next World Cup, you see, the top eight will qualify. Nine and ten will play qualifying along with six Associates, so the Associates will still have a meaningful chance to enter the World Cup in its next edition."
ICC chief executive David Richardson told BBC Test Match Special that Associate members shouldn't be put into tournaments such as the World Cup for "window dressing".
"We must ensure Ireland and Afghanistan get more resources and play more Full Members on a more regular basis," Richardson said. "The matter will be discussed again at future ICC meetings. As it stands we've entered into an agreement with broadcasters for a ten-team World Cup.
"I want it to be a shop window for the best teams in one-day cricket - whether that be eight teams, ten teams or 12 teams. The debate will still be had as to whether we have ten or increase it.
"It's more about giving opportunities to everyone and giving more money to the likes of Ireland and Afghanistan so they can compete against Full Members. We're putting money into these teams hoping we'll genuinely have 14 rather than eight teams capable of competing," Richardson said.
Srinivasan was pleased with the way the 2015 World Cup had unfolded, and sounded optimistic about the future of the 50-over game. "I think it has gone much better," he said. "It is the best attended World Cup that has been held, we have had many exciting games, and we have also seen how fans have flocked to the stadia which is a very refreshing sight, and it really emphasises the relevance of ODI cricket.
"I don't think World Cup has been stretched for long time. One example will be good enough to tell you that it was a success. India versus South Africa match at MCG had 87,000 people. That says it all … for a non-Australia match to be house full."