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Players and coaches round on ICC Associates decision

Osman Samiuddin in Hambantota

February 19, 2011

Comments: 68 | Text size: A | A

Rizwan Cheema flays one through the off side during his 93, Canada v England, World Cup warm-up match, Fatullah, February 16, 2011
Rizwan Cheema is one of a number of playing lining up to condemn the ICC's decision © Associated Press

Dissent and criticism of the ICC's decision to cull Associate nations from the 2015 World Cup intensified further on the opening day of the current tournament. Grant Flower, Zimbabwe's batting coach, and Canada's captain Ashish Bagai added their voices to a growing chorus of dissatisfaction that has, if not overshadowed the opening days, then dampened a little the celebratory nature of the occasion.

Already a number of Associate countries, foremost among them Kenya's chief executive Tom Sears, have hit out at the ICC's reaffirmation on Friday of a decision taken in October last year. Afghanistan and Netherlands have also weighed in: "Our players are always motivated but those comments were disappointing," Netherlands team manager Ed van Nierop told AFP.

"I can't see what it does for the global element of the competition by going back down to 10 teams. I guess the proposals for the Twenty20 are a bit of a bonus but the World Cup is still the premier ICC tournament." Notably, Graeme Swann also chipped in, saying the decision had taken the 'world' out of the World Cup.

But on Saturday came the most articulate and extensive questioning from Bagai, ahead of his side's game against Sri Lanka in Hambantota. "The World Cup should involve as much of the world as you possibly can," he said. "It's a shame and very disappointing for players like us who were looking for opportunities to play against the best in the world. That's the only way to improve as cricketers, as nations. It's really going to hold back the growth of the game. If they want to keep it to 10 teams, which they want to do, that's fine, but it's never going to be a global sport that way."

The trade-off, according to the ICC, is that more Associates will be involved in the World Twenty20: the next edition will have 16 teams now, but they have yet to decide how the final ten teams will be selected for the next 50-over world tournament. The recommendation to cut down Associates' participation, incidentally, was reached at the ICC's board meeting in October by a working party made up of David Collier (England), James Sutherland (Australia) and N Srinivasan (India) with no Associate representation, and only Dave Richardson of the ICC.

But the increased T20 participation doesn't tally with the efforts of Associate nations to ultimately push for Test status, the format, Bagai arguing, not ideal for that purpose. "You can see where the ICC is headed and the direction they think cricket is going. It might be a commercial move because T20 sells the best globally. I don't think it's going to help many countries produce top level Test cricketers."

Flower said the decision was a step "backwards", arguing that smaller countries need more exposure, not less, an argument echoed by Bagai. "It's a big challenge to get these games every four years," he said. "By the time we're used to playing these teams the World Cup is over. The only way to play well against them is to keep playing them repeatedly. The boards of the top Associates have asked for more games throughout the four years so we can get some practice against some good quality opposition during the years outside the World Cup."

This is the fourth time Canada - one of four associate teams in this tournament - is participating in the game's showpiece event and the third in succession since 2003. Though they only have a win over Bangladesh to show for that time Bagai believes the country's cricket has built an identity and homegrown base of players that deserves to be showcased more often.

"[The Sahara Cup games between India and Pakistan] did inspire a lot of people in the country," he said. "Back in 2000 we had a lot of new joiners and infrastructure development at that time tremendously helped us. Tournaments like that are always helpful for smaller countries to generate interest and get media involved and generate revenues, which is very important for us. More of those are needed."

On Friday, their Sri Lankan coach Pubudu Dassanayake said the move was a "severe setback". Rizwan Cheema, one of their key players, said the 50-over game was a must for development. "If you want to look at it from another perspective, you have to have competition and give small teams an idea to play against big teams and increase confidence. Otherwise cricket will stay in nine countries. We all aim for Test status because cricket really changes when you get to that level," he told ESPNcricinfo. "It's not a good feeling, because at Associate level we haven't really got anything else to play against big teams."

The most memorable recent Associate performances in the tournament include Kenya's semi-final run in 2003 and Ireland's performances in the 2007 edition.

Osman Samiuddin is Pakistan editor of ESPNcricinfo

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Comments: 68 
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Posted by Andrew on (February 22, 2011, 7:07 GMT)

@ 5wombats - typical Ponting rant. Get over it. Ponting NEVER actually said he didn't want the Minnows/Associates in the Cup. He said the WC would be "better" without them. Its more his business than yours or anyone else blogging on this website actually!

Posted by Bhaskar on (February 22, 2011, 0:56 GMT)

Ideally more countries should be able to compete for the WC. Only then will the game's popularity increase. In reality it may be easier to hold the WC in a Davis Cup (tennis) format with brackets including the top-, medium- and bottom-ranked teams (rankings obtained not from official ICC ones but from a year-long league) leading up to quater-finals etc. among the top contenders in each. That way everyone gets a chance, and one does not have to endure these spankings every 4 years.

Posted by Brett on (February 21, 2011, 21:44 GMT)

So the ICC cut the associates from the 50 Over World Cup but keep them in the 20/20.

It is a continued shame to see the ICC focus solely on money and how to continue to reap the biggest revenue at the expense of developing Cricket around the World.

With all the extra money that the ICC is making it should be helping associate side tour the more established countries even if it only to play state and county sides.

Posted by Martin on (February 21, 2011, 21:40 GMT)

The ICC lost any credibility years ago. They don't act in the interests of global cricket and this cull is more evidence of that. This needs to be fought tooth and nail, and I hope the associate countries get their way. Ponting should keep his mouth shut - it's none of his business.

Posted by Sun on (February 21, 2011, 13:51 GMT)

though its nice to see people are being so spirited about letting Associate countries be part of the World Cup, lets face the reality; seeing minnows getting thrashed is not that entertaining. As mentioned in a lot of articles, they cannot improve through this experience. ICC needs to focus on scheduling games against top countries for the associate countries so that they have a 'real' opportunity to improve. However, there is another component to this process that people are missing out. Money. Cricket has become about money and the Associative countries have to figure out ways to make these matches appealing to their public. No one has figured out how yet but Im sure a good brain storming session could produce ideas that would work well in that particular country.

Posted by Riyas on (February 21, 2011, 10:18 GMT)

with jsut 10 teams why do we even need group stages jsut get rid of 2 monre teams and lets go straight to quarter finals. personally a World Cup (that only comes around every 4 years) where the same teams keep playing each other would be boring. can you imagine the rfu reducing the number of countries jsut becasue the best teams absolutely hammer them??

Posted by Pritam on (February 21, 2011, 8:58 GMT)

If Kenya, Ireland would have got at least 50 % exposure what Bangladesh got in the last 10 yrs then they would have become much better than Bangladesh and would defeat them consistently....

Posted by srini on (February 21, 2011, 8:38 GMT)

We only have to think about the FIRST EVER match of the world cup in 1975. England 334 and India 132 -3.. Gavaskar's 36 not out in 60 overs. India only beat East Africa in 1975, lost all 3 in 79 including to Sri Lanka , who were considered minnows. Then in 1983, they won the cup. And they are world no 2 and no 1 in money terms. Only solution is to let Canada, Zim, Kenya play regularly against top teams so that they can improve. Appearing straight to world cup from their weekend cricket won't help anyone.

Posted by pari on (February 21, 2011, 6:24 GMT)

at maximum only top 10 teams should play world-cup matches on round-robin basis. then QF, SF and Final. keep is simple that make some sense ICC!!!

Posted by Steven on (February 21, 2011, 5:44 GMT)

If the world Cup is reduced to 10 Teams then I will stop watching, can you imagine FIFA changing the World cup to 16 Teams? I don't think so, Someone has to come last but you need to have something for the Associate teams to strive for T20 is Fun but it's not the Path to Test Status, ICC should be embracing the associates not pushing them back to the bush tracks for hit and giggle matches. If we push to 10 teams then only the host should be automatic and all others should be made to qualify. if that means and Asian Team misses out then so be it. You can't have your cake and eat it. Host, Americas 2, Africa 2 Europe 2, Asia 2 and Oceania 1 = 10 this is the only logical calculation to encourage growth of international cricket. Or go back to groups of 4 and stop changing it when an Asian Team gets knocked out. apart from the Farcical Final in the 2007 world Cup it should be remembered as the cup when the associates roared. "10 is not the future"

Posted by RAGHURAM on (February 21, 2011, 5:34 GMT)

If ICC is so concerned with the quality of the World Cup due to presence of associate members, then West Indies and Zimbabwe also do not deserve to be in World Cup based on their performance in the past 2-3 years... I partially agree with ICC. The World Cup could be played by top 10 countries as per their ranking in the previous World Cup. The bottom 2 teams in the previous world cup should eliminated to lower grade consisting of Associate members. There can be a separate Mini World Cup for Associate members from where top two teams would get promoted to the top league...

Posted by Rohen on (February 21, 2011, 5:25 GMT)


Posted by Mohammad on (February 21, 2011, 5:24 GMT)

ICC is a currently acting like a Bunch of Clowns. Really don't know what to do, I can compare ICC with the current PCB management, both are destroying the spirit of Cricket in the world and in Pakistan respectively. Come on ICC (Haroon Lorgat & Shared Power) think out of the box away from few favorite countries. You job is to improve and promote the game of cricket not to destroy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Rajesh on (February 21, 2011, 4:41 GMT)

This issue can be seen with two different perspectives. One- These countries like Canada or Kenya or Ireland or Netherlands are not going to improve their cricketing standards if after this world cup, the guys return to their farming or teaching or fishing businesses which would be their source of livelihood. If ICC wants to Globalize the game, they should ensure that each one of these teams have at least one series a year with each of the the bottom 4 teams of the top 8 ICC teams. That is the only way for them to have exposure and improve their game. If this is not done, the games will be a big joke like the ones we had yesterday with Kenya and Canada. Two- Alternatively, stick only to the test playing nations. This will increase the intensity of the world cup and reduce the farcical matches. However this will mean that the game will never ever get globalized-Does that matter- as per newspaper reports the ICC WC is almost matching the FIFA WC on the revenues generated

Posted by Rohit on (February 21, 2011, 4:23 GMT)

I suggest, ICC comes out with a complete rankings for all teams just like FIFA. The Top 10 get automatic entries into the WC, but the next 10 get to play qualifiers. Any associate team in the Top 10 for more than 2 years gets provisional ODI status. Irelands deserves that. In a few years maybe Netherlands and Canada will too. Compare the Bangladesh unit when they got provisional status with the present sides of Canada, Ireland or Netherlands or even Kenya, Namibia, Afghanistan, Scotland or Uganda and it would be hard to say Bangladesh were much better than afore mentioned sides now. I believe the ICC should look at more games between the Associates in the ensuing 4 years, perhaps in Dubayy or Ireland or elsewhere, and also look at more ODI matches between touring Test playing nations. And maybe participation in domestic tourneys of Test playing nations. So say Canada/Argentina/USA getting to participate in the Pura Cup of WI.

Posted by Rohit on (February 21, 2011, 4:11 GMT)

The ICC alas is a bunch of blokes with monies in their mind. As a spectator I would love to see a 15 or even 20 team WC with promising teams from say even Canada, Namibia, Uganda, Scotland, USA, Oman, Ireland, Netherlands, Afghanistan, Argentina, Denmark etc. It would be great to have a round robin league for the Top 10 Associate Teams just before the WC and maybe the Top 4 go the play the WC. Maybe even have A Teams from some Test nations. Also, if the ICC feels the teams lack practice it is because the so called minnows get to play the top teams once in 4 years except perhaps Ireland or Netherlands. Regular inclusions in tours and a chance to participate in domestic tournaments of other top teams should help. Like Canada getting to play in the Pura Cup. Or Afghanistan/Kenya/UAE getting a chance to play in local tournaments of Pakistan, Bangladesh or India.

Posted by Andrew on (February 21, 2011, 3:44 GMT)

@amit1807kuwait - I like that idea. I think T20 should be pushed as the format for the Olympics with Test nations only allowed to send their U19s & maybe 1 professional. For 50/50 cricket - the fact is this has been the "testing bed" (no pun intended) for Tests. Think SL, Zim & Banga. So if we are to expand cricket emerging nations need to be given opportunities - unless that happens cricket stagnates, & we'll end up being overrun by BASEBALL!

Posted by Andrew on (February 21, 2011, 3:35 GMT)

@varughese - MASSIVE difference between Nannes & Morgan. Morgan is an IRISHMAN playing for ENGLAND, whereas NANNES is an Aussie with DUTCH HERITAGE. Completely different. Also India had been playing Test cricket for over 40 years by then - so weren't really a "minnow", that being said - I agree that the Associates should be in the W/Cup!

Posted by Bhaskar on (February 21, 2011, 3:01 GMT)

@varughese, are you kidding me? India were minnows in the 1983 WC when odi's had not been around for that long. The 'minnows' tag was purely in the context of odi's. India had been a (separate) test playing nation since its independence. It had beaten all of the other test playing nations in tests, and some in series as well. Not to say that Indian test cricket was the best in the world (or even second or third), but to compare the Indian ODI squad in 1983 with even current Bangladesh Test squad is apples and oranges. This seems to be a surprising sentiment being expressed a lot these days. Just playing the format or even in tests for a period of time alone does not guarantee stature. Results do. When Bangladesh (or an upcoming minnow) starts winning tests/odi's (and series) on a regular basis against every test-playing nation alone will they join the elite league. India did it the hard way. Pakistan did it the hard way. Sri Lanka did it the hard way. Why anything different for others?

Posted by Rohen on (February 21, 2011, 1:52 GMT)

the icc need to really wake up and realise that t6he future of cricket is just beiong affected by nothing else but the sad and dull ideas they come up with. it is so stupid to even consuider the fact of having only 10 teams in a World Cup, when they should not only be trying to get more participation in the game on normal levels as well. teamase like canada kenya zimbabwe ireland netherlands should be actually be having series with teams like india, sri lanka new zealand pakistan and so on to get them the exposure required to complete at that satge, and encourage them to develop in the game. I am seriously wondering what are the requiremwents to be a part of the decision making committee, cause looking at some of the ideas they copme up with, it doesnt look like you got to be too smart. yes no doubt T20 is a magnifecent boon to the game economically, but tests are yet the main form of the game, the actuall terst of a player and a team, abnd ODI's is the stepping stone towards tests.

Posted by Pulkit Aryan on (February 20, 2011, 20:43 GMT)

i agree with tushar bhayani ... world cup is premier event not everyone can play it Mr.

You need to QUALIFY IT.... if so is the case then like soccer even test nations need to qualify !!!!

ICC if you read this... if you have so much faith in your test nations like NZ and WI and Bangladesh he hemmm... then why dont u make it a level playing field and make this wc qualifier for everyone... this way the series played around the world will actually mean something.

I feel cricket has always remained a lala game because when it was made in Britain it was for privileged .... do hell with this sport see soccer why they flourish...

Posted by Deepak on (February 20, 2011, 19:05 GMT)

continu.... cand do like when their is bilattral serise for example between india and south africa they should invite canda and zimbambway and canda will be with indian team all the time will practis with them, stay in dressing room with them when match is going on it will give them good chance to get qulity practis and will know how big players like sachin, dhoni preaper for big match how they decide stratergies it will help them become better cricketer.

Posted by Deepak on (February 20, 2011, 18:57 GMT)

I think its good move. WC is not looking like world cup at all i dont want to see canada and keniya getting thrashed by srilanka and nz, it is not interesting but may be we should do like top 8 teams in icc ranking will play world cup and reamening 6-8 teams should play mini world cup and 2 finalist or 4 semifinalist should get chance to play world cup so that those teams will know that they r playing world cup bcoz they won that chance, they will have confidance and they will know how wining fills, they will be hungry. or icc should give responsibility of assosiate nations to main nations for example india should help canada, srilanka helps keniya, aus helps nederland, sa helps zimbabway, (pak helps pbk and wi helps wi). it will help as assosiate players will get to know their heros and they will get help from their heros expiriance.

Posted by Tim on (February 20, 2011, 18:46 GMT)

This move by the ICC is, in effect, an admision that their "development" program for the associates has been an abysmal failure. All the money, all the competitive opportunities, for the associates have shown barely any results. The ICC's entire development strategy and approach must be overhauled. And this means taking cricket mainstream in countries like USA, Canada, Netherlands; not just catering to the immigrant population in these countries which has been the sum total of the ICC's "development" strategy.

Posted by nilantha on (February 20, 2011, 17:13 GMT)

i thin icc got a unfair decision for associates to keep 10 teams for 2015 world cup, i must say we need to improve cricket as much as we can, if it's going to world cup with 10 teams, actually it'll not be a world cup,,,we need more than 20 teams, if ICC didn't change this decision, it's not good for the game....look at the football, improve fastly whole over the world are playing...ICC is very weak this is more than 100 years old game still in the same place and everyday we are watching same teams ....*ICC* PLEASE OPEN YOUR EYES...

Posted by M on (February 20, 2011, 17:13 GMT)

IMHO - I agree with the general ICC decision that fewer teams would make for a better competition. But on the other side, it is also true that unless the associate teams compete against better teams, they have less chances to move up and thus make cricket truly global. Here's is my opinion - just like the plan to move the top two teams from the associates to compete at the world cup, the bottom two (non-associate) teams (by points in the group stage) from the world cup should be required to compete at the ICC Trophy. With this format, from the past, we would had Sri Lanka (1975, 1983, 1987, 1991, 1999), India (1979, 1991), England (1995, 2006), West Indies (1995, 2006), Pakistan (2003), South Africa (2003) competing with the minnows.

Posted by Cricket Fan on (February 20, 2011, 16:51 GMT)

In 2003 WC Keny played around 9 OD1 games. And they reached in Semi Final. After that until 2007 WC they didn't get a chance to play with a test team. May be played atleast 5 games against test playing nations. In 2007 WC, they played only 3 ODI. And between 2007 to 2011, they didn't played more than 5 matches or none against a test nations. They get an oppertunity 6 games in this prlininery round in 2011 world cup. This is the same story to say for Ireland, Nederlands, Canada, Afghanistan, Soctland , Bermuda, Namibia, UAE etc countries. Cricket players, cricket lovers in these countries are also mind and they are also humanbeings like Indians and Australians. If FIFA ranks Like ICC, only Europan and Latin American Countries can play football. But FIFA makes football as a global games but ICC doesn't do that. If Cricket board of Test Nations don't like a series or games against Associate country, only World Cup is a dream for associate countries to play good ODIs.

Posted by deepak on (February 20, 2011, 16:43 GMT)

It is because of decisions like ths that players like Dirk Nannes and Eoin Morgan play for Australia and England instead of the Netherlands and Ireland.They knew they would never reach anywhere in international cricket if they stuck with their respective countries and went away to play for stronger teams. How are the associate nations supposed to improve if they keep losing the true world class players they have to stronger sides because of the ICC's policies. Imagine what could have been achieved in promoting the game in the Netherlands had Nannes been encouraged to stay and NLD won a couple of big games because of his performance. That may have brought cricket into the news over there and generate interest in the sport.

instead of encouraging and promoting cricket in these countries the ICC makes decisions like this.Why would a player of the calibre of Nannes coming from Kenya,Ireland etc continue to play cricket if he knows he can never play a World Cup?? What wud motivate him??

Posted by deepak on (February 20, 2011, 16:25 GMT)

Have we forgotten 1983 where India were the minnows and the underdogs and went on to win the cup??? just imagine what would have happened had West Indies, Australia and the likes had decided to keep the minnows India out of the tournament??? Would we ever get to see Kapil Dev lifting the trophy??? would we get to see cricket being what it is in India today???

For that matter Sri Lanka were again the minnows when they shocked everyone to win the cup.....

Why do these countries have the tag 'associates' anyway??? Why does the ICC get to decide if a country can play test cricket or not??? Why does the ICC get to decide who is strong and who is not??

I am of the opinion that the ICC should do its part to promote cricket in these countries but qualification to International Tournaments should be based on qualification matches alone.Remember in football fair shot is given to everyone and England ended up not even qualifying.

Posted by Ashok on (February 20, 2011, 16:24 GMT)

This decision of restricting the number of teams for the World cup to 10 teams is a counter productive & disappointing move. ICC's aim should be to promote the popularity of Cricket in as many countries as possible. By cutting down the teams, the sport will die out in non qualifying countries. By reducing the countries, it is no longer a "WORLD" Cup but a discretionary ICC cup. Olympics is popular world wise because it "includes" all countries instead of "exclusion policy" used by ICC. What is the mandate of ICC - Inclusion or exclusion of as many countries as possible? Instead of reducing, I would recommend increasing the participants in the next world cup to 20 - This allows USA, Afghanistan, Hong Kong and some African countries too. Be progressive ICC & Yes, WE CAN.

Posted by Pradeep on (February 20, 2011, 16:12 GMT)

Why not have World Cup qualifiers? Everyone plays, including the Test nations.

Posted by Paramveer on (February 20, 2011, 15:57 GMT)

Fantastic start to the World Cup so far. I bet all of you here in support for more minnows in the World Cup have been watching every ball, every match.

3 matches have happened so far including minnows, all completely 1-sided. What a great World Cup!

Posted by chetan on (February 20, 2011, 15:49 GMT)

Well there's only one solution to this controversy icc needs to get rid of world cricket league system and have two tier odi league system so on first top tier there will top 12 best teams and the minnows in the second tier.At the end of each yr 2 bottom teams will be relegated and 2 teams will be promoted from second tier and after every three yrs top 10 teams from first tier will selected for the odi wc.That way everyone is happy.

Posted by vishwas on (February 20, 2011, 15:15 GMT)

If the ICC go ahead with the 10 team World Cup in 2015, the best way would be to come up with a qualification process like in football world cup. And set the team limit from each continent based upon the popularity in that region, just in football world cup, where more teams qualify from Europe instead of Asia or Africa. Hence for example since from Asia there are 4 test playing nations, the total teams to qualify from Asia should be 4.

Posted by Vineet on (February 20, 2011, 15:11 GMT)

I am with ICC on this, I can not see how and what Canada or Kenya after performing so badly going to learn any thing. In fact I would say having 10 teams is also too much, if you are not a Test Playing nation you are out. I loved the format in 1992 world cup, where there were only 9 teams, each team played with each other and top 4 went to Semi, simple as you like... This current format due to alll these minnows is just spoiling the world cup, who wants to follow 30 over game between NZ and Kenya. Give me a break GO ICC.

Posted by Dummy4 on (February 20, 2011, 13:38 GMT)

Somthing like football and hocky. First 8/6 should be basis on the ranking and for others team they need to qualify. They will fix the number like 12 and for 4-6 team there should be some qualify tournament for world cup like this.

Posted by RK on (February 20, 2011, 13:13 GMT)

What ICC president said is correct in respect of weaker teams. It's really mere waste of time seeing these minnows struggle. Let them hone their skills in tri nation tournaments, etc., World cup is not the platform to test their strength.

Posted by Amit on (February 20, 2011, 12:09 GMT)

There should be a separate world cup for minnows where regular test playing teams should send their "Under-19" teams.

Posted by Varnendra on (February 20, 2011, 11:34 GMT)

In 2012 associate teams should play each other to select 7 best teams; home and away. In 2013 the selected 7 should play each other for 3 best teams to be picked; home and away. In 2014 all 9 test playing nations should tour these 3 nations; the associate team that performs best over 9 matches should be selected for the WC in 2015. The full member teams that perform better in these tours would be favoured to progress to semi finals if they are tie on points in the actual WC. 2015 WC will be played in the 1992 Australian WC format.

Posted by Kev on (February 20, 2011, 10:25 GMT)

Even in Soccer World Cup countries like China participate. China is in no way an equal match with the likes of Brazil, Argentina, Germany, yet such minnows are given an opportunity. The problem is the organisers have no idea how to co-ordinate matches involving too many teams. The problem with this World Cup is not the number of teams but the way the games are slated to play - which takes too much time for the first round matches to finish. The organisers in this world cup edition have thought more about how to rake loads of money; not how to keep the interest and excitement in the game alive and kicking. Whilst the ICC has come up with a blanket ban to eliminate smaller countries rather than coming up with a smart plan to organise the games, say, 3 games per day thereby finishing the first round matches soon.

Posted by Jeyasingh on (February 20, 2011, 10:13 GMT)

ICC's recommendation is the right move. World cup Foot ball dosent have all the teams in the world but there is a specific numbers and like wise cricket should have a 10 member tournament.

Best option would be to select the top 8 world teams and then the next 8 fight in a preliminary World cup where the winner and runners get into the World Cup teams.

World cup cricket should be an exibition of the best and there should not be any compromise. I dont think 16 teams in T20 World cup is also a good ideaa.

Posted by Shubham on (February 20, 2011, 10:05 GMT)

If Cricket needs to be played and followed at its best it has to be spread all over the World. After this decision Cricket will take many many years to become the Best Sport in the World. If only 10 will play the ODI format than what will people in other countries who love to play Cricket and want to represent their team do. Remember that even India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan were minnows but now they are the World Cup contendars. Even Bangladesh in some years can become a leading contendor of a big ICC Event.. This decision is rubbish .. I think that those who are ruling the ICC have gone mad and are just thinking of money, money and only money ..........

Posted by M on (February 20, 2011, 10:00 GMT)

Whilst the recent performance of Kenya - v- NZ does little to keep at bay those that want to keep the tournament exclusively for the best 10 teams, I am on the side of those that eagerly await the WC to get a chance to match it with the big boys of cricket. ... ... to not provide the associates with the chance to test their skills and guage themselves we may deny ourselves the opportunity of uncovering a rare talent (I don't believe the best teams have a monopoly on the best players in the world) and we run the risk of becoming fuddy duddy and stagnant... If this is the direction then the 2015 tournament will truly be the ICC Trophy and no World Cup at all. ... ... I for one loved the wins of Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, Ireland and Canada because those games showed true spirit and guts to take it to the opposition when no one else gave them a chance... to still believe in themselves and the guys standing with them till the end. Associates all the way.

Posted by Arvind on (February 20, 2011, 9:32 GMT)

I wonder what they are complaining about. What have they done with the opportunities given so far? There have been ocassional "upsets", but these are exceptional cases rather than regular. You are more likely to see what happened today in the NZ v Kenya match. The game gets over before half-time. I do not expect the associates to win every game, but at least put up a fight! Why would anyone want to watch a 100-over game that gets over in less than 40 overs?

Posted by Taz on (February 20, 2011, 9:29 GMT)

Also 50 Overs is too much. It should be reduced to 40 Overs a side in line with T20 being 20 Overs a side.

Posted by Kevin on (February 20, 2011, 8:15 GMT)

This is utter rubbish. How can you call a tournament with 10 teams a "World" cup. The T20 idea for associate nations is utter rubbish. T20 is just about slogging, not an opportunity for players to develop their game. The world cup is the only opportunity for associate nations to play against the best and develop. The ICC should have instead developed a plan where the associate nations could play more tournaments with the best so when world cup time comes they would be ready, rather than being thrown into the deep end straight away.

Posted by Cricinfouser on (February 20, 2011, 7:53 GMT)

testing pls ignoretesting pls ignore testing pls ignore testing pls ignore testing pls ignore

Posted by Adrian on (February 20, 2011, 7:00 GMT)

I think that there needs to be a qualifying part to the World Cup. If it goes back to 10, then fair enough, so long as teams do have a way to qualify.

Posted by Nadeem on (February 20, 2011, 6:56 GMT)

Oh definately. After seeing Today match between NZ and Kenya. It is quite evident that Associate teams should not be involved in ODI WC. T2020 is best to promote cricket worldwide and let the big teams play the ODI and test cricket. Look at Kenya. 69 all out. It is an insult to ODI. I know any team can get out on bad day but in Sub continent wicket. Come on 69. I am not buying this.

This is waste of time to see first half of WC. I will watch quarterfinals and onwards. It was wastefull day today. ICC please remove asscoicates from ODI WC . I think 1992 WC format was the best ever. there should be 10 teams and all play with each other to go to Semi's.

Posted by Vinod on (February 20, 2011, 6:52 GMT)

"One-Day World Championship" will be a better name than "World Cup Cricket" for the next edition.

Let's have T20 cricket as the real world cup...

Posted by Parthasarathy on (February 20, 2011, 6:49 GMT)

Right decision. Many teams are boring to watch. World cup matches are not much interesting at beginning stages, while watching after a long wait.

Posted by S on (February 20, 2011, 6:47 GMT)

Previously I though it was a bad decision. Now I feel it may be good. These minnows don't create any sensation. May be they can raise it to 12. Two teams can fight it out to join the WC. That is assuming, Zim and Bngdesh are automatic selections. I say increase to 12 only because, Afghanistan and Ireland are really improving and can definitely upset the major teams here and there, realistically. Otherwise 10 would be ok. Six teams (ranked 1-6) would be automatic selections. This would be based on the ranking attained an year or so before the WC (2014 for 2015 WC) either through all ODIs or from the ICC Champions Trophy Tournament. The other four teams would qualify through a Qualifying tournament held 3-4 months before the WC. 12 teams would fight it out from two groups ranked acc. to latest performance and divided accordingly. Four teams entering the Semis would qualify for the WC 2015.

Posted by Sanket on (February 20, 2011, 6:28 GMT)

I think this is really a good move by ICC to save one day cricket. We will definitely going to see few very bring game in this world cup between top teams vs associate teams. Just see today's match - Kenya bowled out on 69 against NZ. Do we really want to see these one sided matches. I would rather like to watch Aus vs South Africa or India vs Aus. But unfortunately these matches can be possible after league matches.

T20 world cup can be the best platform for associate teams to perform. ICC can allow 16 teams in T20 world cup. We had 3 T20 world cup after ICC 2007 50 over world cup.

one day World cup schedule should be like IPL schedule, where all teams in one group. 10 teams in one group - all teams will play 9 league games, top 4 play in semi and then final. Total 48 games and all high profile games. That contest we would like to watch, all teams competing for a cup that really counts.

Posted by nipun on (February 20, 2011, 6:23 GMT)

12 teams will be ideal not more or less!

Posted by Vikram on (February 20, 2011, 6:17 GMT)

i believe that the associates should leave an impression in this edition that would make the ICC think than just creating a lot of noise now.

Posted by papillon on (February 20, 2011, 6:05 GMT)

It's a good decision to drop the associate countries from the 50-over world cup. Apart from a rare upset, these teams cannot make it to quarter finals of any world cup. They provide only practice to the test nations and make the tournament boring. In T20, not much skill is needed and the assoc. countries could make a better impact. Also, T20 is the way to go to 'popularise' cricket, not the 50-over cricket.

Posted by Kaze on (February 20, 2011, 4:33 GMT)

I agree with the ICC, minnows should not be in the World Cup. Look at the start of this Cup, first 4 matches and 4 minnows rather boring advertisment for the Cup. You have to hope for an upset to get any entertainment value. This is shaping up to be one of the most boring Cups ever, lack of stars in a watered down Cup.

Posted by Karan on (February 20, 2011, 3:48 GMT)

A really poor decision by the ICC :-( 32 teams play in FIFA WC, but here they have problem even wid 14 !!

Posted by Daniel on (February 20, 2011, 3:30 GMT)

I'm an Australian and I do not support the direction the ACB has been taking of late, not with the new franchise system in T20, not with the format of domestic ODIs, and not with the role they have played in this decision through Sutherland's role in the working group. Cricket is our National game, it is only right that we work to grow it's popularity around the world.

Posted by Bharat on (February 20, 2011, 3:08 GMT)

This is really disappointing decision from ICC. Due to participation of associate nations, cricket is spreading in world. The WC should now be called "Best of 10 Cup" . ICC should think about cricket not money. The participation should be based on FIFA WC like structure. Those who qualifies are best of their continents, whole continent will support them, same as we (indians) never qualify in FIFA WC but for the continent, we support teams like S. Korea, Japan etc.

Posted by arvind on (February 20, 2011, 1:49 GMT)

If the ICC wants to put the associate teams out of the the next WC, which is very bad for the sport, they should at least let these associates play the warm up games against the big teams..like a tour of England has few test warm ups for 3 days, one day warm ups too..so Ireland and Netherlands could play those..a tour to SA could be playing Kenya and zimbabwe in the warm ups and tour to AUS, could be Canada's only chance. A tour to India, should be Afganisthan's chance..and the A tours between test playing countries..should involve these associates too, since that tournament is not meant for commercial purpose

Posted by sajjo on (February 20, 2011, 0:40 GMT)

so true. another ridiculus decision by the ICC. teams like ireland and afghanistan were improving so much they could have been a real force in cricket in about 5 years time. and when kenya reached semis in 2003, ICC should have helped them get test status, instead kenya has gone downhill. even zimbabwe got no help from ICC to regain test status. what is the ICC really doing? these decisions are just harming crickets development

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

This is such a sad situation. I know there is a lot of money in 20/20 but I just don't see the point in taking out the associate countries out of world cup. Please let cricket grow and the only way to do that is through inclusion not exclusion.

Posted by Nitesh on (February 19, 2011, 22:41 GMT)

ICC's decision is most unfortunate and ridiculous.. They should be looking to expand the game rather than restricting it. They should take a leaf out of FIFA's books and organize a proper 'world' cup with all the countries of the world having a fair chance. Regional qualification matches to decide the Final 32 will help much to spread the game to far-flung corners of the world, and the same should be done not only for T-20 but for ODIs as well.

Coming to the round of 32, again the Football World Cup model must be emulated; with 8 groups of 4 teams each, top 2 from each group advancing to the quarters. This will ensure that every group match remains important, even before quarters, and every team will retain a fair chance of qualifying for the quarters. And then the QF, SF and the Final.

If only the ICC could remove their blinkers and see some sense!

Posted by Agnel on (February 19, 2011, 20:40 GMT)

I dont understand why they cant keep it for 12 teams - the most ideal in this format, which will help 2-3 associates (depending on whether Zimbabwe is a test playing nation or not) to qualify for the World Cup. It has been attempted before and is perfect to encourage teams and players outside the test playing nations and also will not be a big bore as it will be, in this world cup.

Posted by Pradeep on (February 19, 2011, 20:07 GMT)

look as for test status, i think no more test teams should be added. period. irrelevant of how god they r. if ZIM becomes acceptable again, let them in, but no more. Let Test be for the oldies of the game, as there is no commercial or other viability in bringing more teams in. Keep it Elitist.

As for one dayers, more teams should be given the chance to come in. Canada, Ireland, Netherlands, China and Afghanistan deserve a chance, and what better than the World Cup

Posted by Steve on (February 19, 2011, 20:04 GMT)

How about this: 12-team ODI world cup. Top 10 ranked ICC ODI teams as of, say, August 2014, qualify automatically, irrespective of whether they are Full or Associate members. Next 4 then play off for remaining two places (though this means expanding the no. of teams in the Reliance ODI Championship, currently only 13). The present top ODI 10 actually includes Ireland! (ahead of Zim), so if this rule applied now there would be guaranteed at least 2, possibly 3 Associates out of the 12 (assuming the list would be expanded)... not such a bad compromise. (Though personally I favour the present arrangement with 4 associates.)

Posted by V.L on (February 19, 2011, 19:49 GMT)

One should recognize that a supposedly Associate team(Ireland) has beaten two test playing nations(Pakistan and South Africa). By not allowing associates to play ICC will be shutting the doors on the faces of exciting teams like Afghanistan and Ireland especially at a time when Cricket is facing a tough competition from Football and T20(which is actually more like baseball than cricket). These so called "experts" don't know what they are talking about!

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Osman SamiuddinClose
Osman Samiuddin Osman spent the first half of his life pretending he discovered reverse swing with a tennis ball half-covered with electrical tape. The second half of his life was spent trying, and failing, to find spiritual fulfillment in the world of Pakistani advertising and marketing. The third half of his life will be devoted to convincing people that he did discover reverse swing. And occasionally writing about cricket. And learning mathematics.
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