ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / News
Australia v Kenya, Group A, World Cup 2011, Bangalore
Still not convinced about Associates - Ponting
March 12, 2011
Ireland's upset victory over England has not convinced Ricky Ponting that the Associates should be a part of future World Cups. Early in the tournament, Ponting said fewer teams would make for a better tournament. As his side prepared for Sunday's clash with Kenya, a team that hasn't had a significant win in eight years, he said his view hadn't changed.
"There have been a couple of upsets," Ponting said. "From what I've seen, it looks like Ireland have come a fair way. But I am still a believer that it [the World Cup] should be a place only for the best eight or ten teams. I think what we've got at the moment is probably a couple too many. But by the same token, I absolutely understand the reasons behind the other teams being here.
"It's about trying to grow the game everywhere around the world and giving these other smaller countries some exposure to cricket at the highest level. What I've always said is I'd like to see any of those qualifiers that come in really dominate the level below international cricket for a long period of time. At least then you know that you've got a team that's going to be competitive in a tournament like this."
Australia have not lost against a non-Test side since 1983, when they were upset by Zimbabwe in the World Cup. They face Kenya on Sunday and Canada on Wednesday, and there is a chance they could face Bangladesh - the ninth-ranked among the full members in ODI - in the quarter-finals after their memorable victory over England in Chittagong.
"They've never been classified as a minnow," Ponting said of Bangladesh. "They beat us in Cardiff a few years ago. With all their games at home, there was always a chance they could cause a couple of upsets, last night was probably one. They let one slip against the West Indies with a bit of an abysmal performance, but in their conditions they are a very competitive team."