ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / News

Australia v Kenya, Group A, World Cup 2011, Bangalore

Still not convinced about Associates - Ponting

Brydon Coverdale in Bangalore

March 12, 2011

Comments: 61 | Text size: A | A

Ricky Ponting has a bowl in the nets, Bangalore, March 10, 2011
Ireland have come a long way, but the World Cup should be a place only for the best teams - Ricky Ponting © Associated Press

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."

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Comments: 61 
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Posted by Andrew on (March 14, 2011, 23:39 GMT)

@ IMQGR - I think its fine to term the Bangas win against England as an upset. I think England beating the Saffas was an upset, (I did pick that one though). Just because they are a Test nation, the fact is they are not expected to beat any of the top 6 nations. So when/if they do its an upset. If the Bangas play England 5 times in a row, you would expect the Poms to at least 4 games. That = upset!

Posted by Lalith on (March 14, 2011, 9:13 GMT)

The different between an associate and No1 team is 60 Runs. No 1 team bowlers got only 3 wickets (Other 3 were run-outs ). Mr Ponting, please focus on your own bowlers rather than bugging minnows. SL played in 1975 and 79 as an associate and they won 1996 WC. Runners up 2007. If SL were not given that opportunity, cricket would have never blossomed in SL. I believe there must be at least 3 best associates must be playing in the WC and 7 associates can be added to T20-20 to make it 16 team competition.

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 13, 2011, 21:26 GMT)

@IMQGR!!! I think bangladesh is stil very muchl a minnow in world cricket, and their wins against good teams can be counted as upsets for sure!!!.

Posted by Lalith on (March 13, 2011, 19:42 GMT)

Ponting should stop criticizing minnows. If so AUSSIES should have thrashed KENYA. Kenya lost only by 60 runs and OBUYA was better than any of AUSSIES because he was the Player of the match.

Posted by Anneeq on (March 13, 2011, 18:26 GMT)

Ponting is extremely short sighted in his thinking, the world cup is for the WORLD not just 10 teams, 4 of which are from the sub continent! I do think however the selection and format of qualification is flawd. There should be 16 tems all together. The top 6 teams should qualify automatically and the remaining test status countries along with the associates should have a football style qualification process where each team plays home and away the top 10 should then qualify for the world cup. That way the 'lesser' nations will get regular exposure to cricket both in their home country and away against quality opposition and opposition of their own standard. The home crowd will also have a chance to see their country in action against quality opposition in action. I think thisl be a really good idea for countries like Ireland that are banging hard on the test status door, itl develop their talent even more.

Posted by Virendra on (March 13, 2011, 17:08 GMT)

Today Kenya must have convinced him. LOL

Posted by Asim on (March 13, 2011, 16:55 GMT)

One Typical Thing if Kenya is allowed to compete in 2015 and 2019 World Cups then Thomas Odoyo of Kenya will be the First Person to Play in 7 World Cups.He already had played all 5 World Cups.

Posted by Damith on (March 13, 2011, 16:20 GMT)

Ponting should have thought about making this statement after playing his games against the associates! He must be very confident that they would not cause any upsets against Aus, but what Kenya is doing right now to Aus is a bit of a splash into Ponting's face!

Posted by Milind on (March 13, 2011, 16:13 GMT)

Ponting cannot expect the minnows to come into the WC and knock the stuffing out of the major teams. As everyone can see, the Associate nations can get better as the tournament goes on. It's their lack of exposure that matters...they don't get to play at this level but once in 4 years. Thus the likelihood of an upset is very small, although if it happens it can serve as a wake up call to the cricketing world about the status of their team. I think it is also a great way to induct an Associate nation into full member status...given their performance in a couple of WC's. ie. SL & Zim.

Posted by Cricinfouser on (March 13, 2011, 15:33 GMT)

What do teams like Ireland need to do to make a case for minnows in the World cup?

4 competitive matches including an incredible run chase isn't enough to convince the skeptics. Reaching Semi Finals certainly isnt enough (Kenya 2003).

If world cup isnt the stage then what is?

If you wanna go for 10 teams then there should be a qualifier rather than auto-qualifying all test nations. (Exceptions may be hosts and the defending champions)

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Brydon CoverdaleClose
Brydon Coverdale Assistant Editor Possibly the only person to win a headline-writing award for a title with the word "heifers" in it, Brydon decided agricultural journalism wasn't for him when he took up his position with ESPNcricinfo in Melbourne. His cricketing career peaked with an unbeaten 85 in the seconds for a small team in rural Victoria on a day when they could not scrounge up 11 players and Brydon, tragically, ran out of partners to help him reach his century. He is also a compulsive TV game-show contestant and has appeared on half a dozen shows in Australia.
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