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Associates to step up pressure, force ICC U-turn

Andrew Miller and ESPNcricinfo staff

April 19, 2011

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Ryan ten Doeschate celebrates getting to a century, Ireland v Netherlands, World Cup 2011, Group B, March 18, 2011
Netherlands batsman Ryan ten Doeschate was one of the leading players at the recent World Cup but would not get an opportunity at the next event unless the ICC changed their decision © AFP
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The Associate countries are confident of contesting the ICC's decision to block their access to the 2015 World Cup after receiving advice from prominent sports lawyers. They plan on mobilising opinion ahead of the ICC's meeting in June and have not ruled out the legal option.

The ICC was roundly criticised by the non-Test-playing countries after the decision was announced on April 4, two days after the World Cup final, but having worked closely together since, the Associates are hopeful of a rethink. They sent a letter to the ICC outlining their case and the ICC has since announced it will revisit the issue during its board meeting in June.

"The lack of response in those two weeks probably meant they realised they were defending the indefensible," Warren Deutrom, Cricket Ireland's CEO told ESPNcricinfo. "The ICC management are a very careful and expert bunch, and they will have done their homework. I know a lot of people have been telling us over the two weeks how strong our position would be if external remedies were necessary, although we don't want to get to that stage, we want it to be the last resort.

Richard Cox, the chief executive of the Royal Netherlands Cricket Board, explained how the Associate response has developed.

"A number of the countries have been speaking about the manner of which we might approach the situation though our delegated ICC reps," he told ESPNcricinfo's Switch Hit show.

"We've done a great deal of research over the last week, particularly Warren Deutrom of Ireland, had a lot of letters of support, and we've also had some experienced sports lawyers contacting us offering us help, examples of history and precedents for cases such as this.

"On that basis we felt we were at least able to contest the decision around qualification and the opportunity to qualify which is what we've done. We'd like to have the opportunity to discuss the matter and for our representatives Neil Speight, Keith Oliver and Imran Khwaja to sit with people from officer and board level at the ICC to resolve it amicably."

Though a challenge through the courts remains a last resort, Cox hopes the pressure generated by the public response, alongside the backroom work being done by the Associate boards can lead to a change in thinking from the ICC before the June meeting.

"Our thinking is to keep this matter on the table and high on people's agendas, high on the media's agenda," he said. "Although June is a month away, if we can continue to work behind the scenes in the way we have over the last 10 days then who knows when it could be resolved. In an ideal world you'd want it resolved more quickly than June but if that's what it takes to get everybody round the table than we'll follow the proper course of action."

Netherlands were one of the stronger Associate sides during the recent World Cup and Cox believes that only greater exposure at international level will help them develop.

"What it demonstrated to us was that with more experience at this level we'd be able to cope with the standard of cricket on a regular basis. So to get the news last was a real body blow not just for us but for any number of nations who aspire to play in a World Cup.

"It was really a backwards step for us when they made that decision and that's why we've taken our time to look at it carefully and go through the proper processes to contest the decision and get it overturned."

Andrew Miller is UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by enigma77543 on (April 21, 2011, 18:23 GMT)

@Notredam - "Irish wil play 2015 world cup..and get test staus by 2017,, mark my words..." I don't about the Irish but I hope the top Associates, whoever they may turn out to be, get a shot at qualification for WC2015. As for Irish test-status by 2017, well, you can keep dreaming OR you can learn from someone like Trent Johnston who's obviously much more level-headed & practical in saying that Irish will need 4-day first-class structure before even thinking about Test-status & as you can see by looking at Ban & Zim, just having one in place isn't enough but rather it must be a strong first-class structure because Ban & Zim's woes will tell you that Tests are a totally different kind of beast compared to ODIs & T20s, that's why even after decades of Test-cricket, they still get beaten comprehensively in Tests. That's I'm saying, ICC need a long-term plan & get top Associates to play 4-day (& even 1-day) cricket regularly against domestic & A-teams of stronger teams to grow GRADUALLY.

Posted by enigma77543 on (April 21, 2011, 18:12 GMT)

@jonah58 - "why dont you make everybody except the host and the current champion go through a qualifiction process?" Can you actually read, mate? As I've said, every match has certain costs & thus, making top teams play in pointless unprofitable matches doesn't make sense, anybody in their right mind wouldn't doubt that if given a fair go (as opposed one-off match), top teams will easily beat minnows & where there're questionmarks (eg.Ban,Zim) it is obvious & thus, a qualification process for at least 9th & 10th spot makes more sense. Otherwise why waste resources on pointless matches, results of which are already. Everybody knew who was going to be in the QFs in WC2011, it was such a waste of resources to get an rare upset here & there & yet you want even more resources wasted on top teams having to qualify? Again, that'll only mean less money available to ICC & therefore less funding for Associates & most Associates would probably be dead without ICC funding, is that what you want?

Posted by enigma77543 on (April 21, 2011, 17:56 GMT)

@Jonah56, if IRL are so good then why do its supporters oppose a 10-team WC so long as there're qualifiers at least for 9th & 10th place? By your own admission, Ban & Zim aren't very bright, WI are lagging then why add more pointless unprofitable matches by having 12-16 teams & thereby make ICC sustain losses? That'll only mean that they'd've less money to fund Associates, is that what you want? & as I've said, "more matches = more improvement" theory does NOT work otherwise Ban & Zim wouldn't be so bad after so many years. As I've said, what is needed to develop cricket in minnows is a sustained LONG-TERM effort where top minnows play 4-day & 1-day regularly against domestic & A-teams which gives them a chance to build a foundation for future, a planned growth (something that wasn't done with Ban & Zim). As for polls, well, precisely why democratic process leads to less efficient governance in general because people who've no clue how the whole thing works get to vote.

Posted by Notredam on (April 21, 2011, 13:08 GMT)

bangladesh test staus shud be scrapped..poor fielders..

Posted by Notredam on (April 21, 2011, 9:33 GMT)

Irish wil play 2015 world cup..and get test staus by 2017,,

mark my words...

Posted by Notredam on (April 21, 2011, 9:32 GMT)

Bangladesh are surely afraid of facing irish...even ducth wud push them off on seaming, bouncing tracks...have a match up of 10 mtch series..

just becoz of 200 million pople supportes dsnt mean u get test status..

on that order india shud every time win the world cup as there population is max in cricket world..

also china should get automatic qualification in semis and brazil should also play..what a joke...

If u r gud u deserve propmotion and reward irrespectiv of country populationm..

infrastructure will only build once u get named faces in public and interest, govn backing,,,so bangadanhudesh didnt become in 1 year..all stadiums ready..similary wth lankanss..............so develop and se by next wrld cup..gve irish 15 odi against full memebers in1 year..i say sincerely they can win 3-4 out of those which wud be remarkable..acheivement..

Posted by Jonah58 on (April 21, 2011, 8:48 GMT)

Enigma, It was not me or the Irish team that voted to exclude all associates, last time we played Zim they beat us 2-1 at home, now they wont play us again. In the last 4 years Bangla have never beaten us outside of Bangla, so I doubt we would run scared of either, TBH I would be far more worried about losing to Afghanistan than either of those mighty elite test nations. If your Elite 10 or magnificent 8 are so good, why dont you make everybody except the host and the current champion go through a qualifiction process? That would be much fairer and you could then say you had the best 10 teams there at your world cup. PS check the vote on this site, 9% think its a good idea to cut the associates and 67% (2 in 3 people) say its stupid and will damage cricket.

Posted by enigma77543 on (April 21, 2011, 7:38 GMT)

@Biso - " I would like to see teams like Ireland, Afghanistan, Netherlands- playing against counties or state teams in test playing countries. But, how does the ICC support the logistics of that? That will surely be the best way to develop the associates." Yup, that's what I've said on these articles many a times. If it's at allpossible to grow cricket outside the cricketing-nations then it's only going to happen when minnows start doing well & they'll've a better chance of not only competing but also winning against domestic & A-teams of stronger nations, getting thrashed most of the time by International teams with may be an upset once in a blue moon doesn't help one bit & isn't financially & logistically viable. But financial viability would be less of an issue as the matches are likely to be generally much more exciting which may pull in some crowds, obviously, they ought to be held at appropriate venues; ICC can swap some "inter-minnows" matches for these types of matches.

Posted by enigma77543 on (April 21, 2011, 7:30 GMT)

@Jonah58, well, you're touting your Irish horse everywhere so why can't I do something similar? Your argument that stronger nations are trying to stop minnows from developing is really naive because if minnows develop & generate public-interest that'll bring more money to the table for everyone so why would stronger nations not want that? At this point, they mayn't want minnows participating because minnows aren't bringing enough to the table while eating too much & are shrinking the pie due to losses sustained due to mediocre matches but there's no aversion to development of minnows as such & please don't tell me, more matches = more improvement, then Ban be top team by now while none of the top teams would ebb & flow over time. Have YOU ever considered that the reason why cricket hasn't grown so much because people might find a 7-8-hour sport very tedious & the only reason it has a strong following in cricketing-nations is because it had become part of their culture & history.

Posted by enigma77543 on (April 21, 2011, 7:23 GMT)

@Jonah58, I've also mentioned that there MUST be a qualification process for at least for the 9th & 10th spot in a 10-team WC. So are YOU scared that your own Irish team won't be good enough to earn that spot by kicking out either Ban or Zim? So much for all the hot air about them being "way better" than Ban, Zim & even WI lol Further, your argument about it being a "World Cup" isn't very cogent either, would you propose that it should include all the 190+ countries just because it's called "WC"? It's a "WC" for those countries in the world that play cricket reasonably well & have a reasonable cricket-following, rest aren't entitled to an inclusion, it's not a communist-utopia, if others are included then it's just courtesy. Further, do you have any clue as to how much money & resources it costs to arrange unprofitable matches for the minnows, again, we don't live in a communist-utopia, may be some of you asking for more mediocre teams should contribute a few million to cover losses.

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Andrew Miller Andrew Miller was saved from a life of drudgery in the City when his car caught fire on the way to an interview. He took this as a sign and fled to Pakistan where he witnessed England's historic victory in the twilight at Karachi (or thought he did, at any rate - it was too dark to tell). He then joined Wisden Online in 2001, and soon graduated from put-upon photocopier to a writer with a penchant for comment and cricket on the subcontinent. In addition to Pakistan, he has covered England tours in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, as well as the World Cup in the Caribbean in 2007
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