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Hold Associates debate after World Cup - Strauss

ESPNcricinfo staff

February 21, 2011

Comments: 14 | Text size: A | A

Dutch celebrations continue ... in the England dressing-room after their dramatic last-ball win, England v Netherlands, ICC World Twenty20, Lord's, June 5, 2009
Andrew Strauss says the defeat to Netherlands at Lord's is a reminder that Associates cannot be taken lightly © Associated Press
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The debate on Associate nations participating in future World Cups should be on hold till the current tournament has ended, Andrew Strauss, the England captain, has said. The ICC last week announced it would stick to its plans for a ten-nation World Cup in 2015, one that has been criticised by the Associate nations who feel deprived of an opportunity to play at the highest level.

Canada and Kenya, two of the four Associate countries playing this World Cup, were at the receiving end of big defeats in their opening games. Even Ricky Ponting, the Australia captain, supported the idea of a World Cup with fewer teams. Strauss, however, urged patience.

"It's easy to jump to that conclusion after seeing the games played yesterday (Sunday)," Strauss told reporters in Nagpur on the eve of England's opening game of the World Cup, against Netherlands. "My view on this is let the tournament finish first and then draw any conclusions that need to be drawn."

England were beaten by Netherlands at Lord's in 2009 in what was the opening game of the World Twenty20 that year. In their warm-up game ahead of this tournament, they hung on to a 16-run win against Canada after Rizwan Cheema had given the minnows a realistic chance of an upset.

"We played Canada (in a warm-up) and they gave us a good game but let's see how the tournament plays out first and then I think it will be obvious what the right formula is going forward," Strauss said. "Ireland (also in England's group) and the Netherlands are two strong Associate nations so they are certainly capable of causing a couple of upsets.

"It [the defeat to Netherlands in the World Twenty20] underlines the point that you can't under-estimate sides like Holland. If we are 10 percent off and they have a good day, we are in trouble."

© ESPN EMEA Ltd.

Comments: 14 
Posted by ManjuEleven on (February 22, 2011, 14:29 GMT)

Strauss is very level headed. It is not good to jump to conclusion. Pontings comments are very childish and immature. We should not be based our judgements based on one or two matches. Give them a chance. Unless they paly against these gaints they won't improve. If cricket needs to be noticed and made really international give them chance not just one world cup. Make them play regualarly. ICC should promote Cricket in these associate countries not in countries like India, Pak, Bangla, SL, Aus and England. It is like promoting Soccer in Brazil and Argentina. Think progressively. Don't look at the result, look at the larger picture over next 10 years, don't be short sighted.

Posted by mihir_nam on (February 22, 2011, 5:32 GMT)

Well how many of these Associates play even against bottom 4 Teams after qualifying for world cup. They should atleast ply 15Odis with Bangladesh,West Indies,Zimbabwe,NewZealand/Pakistan in 3Odi's Home away basis for 2years before making it to world cup. So they will get enough practice of against Test Teams before making it to world cup as getting bashed.. ICC should arrange matches for Minnow. And talking about viewership .Let me see how many people will be there for even England South Africa match .Matches involving non host teams.. Lets see from South Africa Vs West Indies. So its better to England only to host world cup as it is Cosmo country with good migrant population. Even West Indies in2007 got in more crowds in Stand more than India ..in last 2games of Non Host teams.

Posted by coldcoffee123 on (February 22, 2011, 4:03 GMT)

"If we are 10 percent off and they have a good day,...". Mr. Staruss, please explain how many times in a decade will that happen?

Posted by coldcoffee123 on (February 22, 2011, 4:00 GMT)

4 games so far. Not even one worth its salt. Bring more minnows to the world cup!!! You know what, bring teams from non-cricket playing nations as well, so that they can experience what cricket is. My foot.

Posted by landl47 on (February 22, 2011, 2:20 GMT)

I think there's a case for reducing the number of teams in the WC to 12 (and I like the format suggested by Raja.Khurram). Reducing the number to 10 means that only one Associate gets in (assuming Zimbabwe is counted as a non-Associate) or two if Zimbabwe has to qualify. That's really not enough, either for the smaller cricketing nations or for the tournament. Strauss, as usual, makes a good deal of sense. We're playing this WC now- we shouldn't be talking about the next one ubtil this one's over As for ultimatewarrior's suggestion- wait until the team you support is one of those not selected for the top 5. Then you'll be screaming that it isn't right.

Posted by Raja.Khurram on (February 21, 2011, 20:32 GMT)

Couldnt agree more with Strauss. IMHO, at least 2 associate members should get a chance. Here is the format I would recommend:

- 3 pools of 4 teams each. - Each pool plays a round robin of matches. Total 18 matches - 6 matches per pool. - Top 2 teams in each pool stay and the bottom 2 get eliminated. - The six teams qualifying play "super-sixes" (1999 world cup style). Each team playing against the teams NOT in their 1st-round-pool. Each team will play 4 matches. Total 12 matches. - Top 4 from super sixes qualify for semis. - Top 2 play final.

This removes the problem of 2007 WC by giving 3 matches to each team rather than 2. Even if a minnow does an upset, it will have to win at least one more match - means, its probably not a fluke to be in next stage. Also it will have only 4 matches in next round - not boring at all.

So total of 33 matches. If all minnow matches are kept on same days at 2 matches/day - we'll have 27 days of world cup. What do you think?

Posted by oze13 on (February 21, 2011, 19:32 GMT)

No doubt England will do their best to make the Netherlands look good!

Posted by   on (February 21, 2011, 16:18 GMT)

In World cups the so called minnows bring a charm of their own they always have the knack of upsetting big teams and make the wc more interesting remember in 2003 wc an associate member KENYA even reached semis so dont underestimate these teams

Posted by Kalan9211 on (February 21, 2011, 16:08 GMT)

@ultimatewarrior, i completely agree!, ICC made right decision, most of the matches in off all worldcups since 1992 are not worth watching. Hope 2015 WC will be played like 1992 format, 1992 was a wonderful event with beautiful grounds,commentary and everything perfect. if associate teams can upset one or 2 matches in world cup it doesn't mean tht they should be allowed to play in 50/50 worldcup.

Posted by calvin_n on (February 21, 2011, 15:26 GMT)

I think the present format is great. 14 teams. Else reduce this and take the top 2 associate teams.

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