Ireland news July 11, 2014

Deutrom fearful for 50-over future

ESPNcricinfo staff

There is a danger of Associate nations losing interest in 50-over cricket with the reduction of the 2019 World Cup to 10 teams according to Warren Deutrom, the chief executive of Cricket Ireland.

The Associate and Affiliate nations have been battling for whatever morsels come their way under the restructuring of the ICC. While there is the promise of a performance-based pathway to Test cricket through the Intercontinental Cup and a play-off series with the lowest ranked Test nation - the ECB has put a Test against a potential qualifier into the new draft of the FTP - and a 16-team World T20 there is a fear that the middle format is being forgotten.

The next World Cup in Australia and New Zealand will include 14 teams, but the tournament in England four years after that will be cut to ten countries in an everyone-plays-everyone format replicating the 1992 event, which is considered to be the ideal formula.

The exact details of qualification for the 2019 tournament have yet to be confirmed, but the likely option is that the top eight teams in the ICC ODI rankings will qualify automatically with the bottom two entering a tournament with the leading Associate and Affiliate nations for the final two spots.

However, Deutrom is concerned that the reduction in places for lower-ranked teams to qualify could see the format wither.

"We, as Associates, have begun to circulate our concerns more strongly in recent months. The pathway to Test cricket has been put in place, the World T20 is now a 16-team event but we strongly feel the 50-over game has been somewhat overlooked," he told the Irish Slog Sweep radio show.

"I think the Test countries think, 'Great you now have a pathway to be in the 50-over World Cup', but actually if it's only 10 teams [in the World Cup] there's a real risk of Associate countries not being part of that.

"There's a risk that some lower-ranked Associates may wonder about playing 50-over with the only real pathway being into 20-over cricket. If all these countries start turning away from 50-over cricket you have to ask yourself that if there are fewer teams playing 50-over cricket what's the point in having a pathway because it will only be open to a small number of countries. If the 50-over structure is not assessed there's a real risk of it losing context."

Deutrom believes Ireland can rightly consider themselves the leading Associate nation but also said that his comments were speaking for the non-Full Member nations as a whole and warned that Ireland's experience at the World T20 - when they were knocked out in stunning fashion by Netherlands - had reinforced that they can "take nothing for granted".

He was talking shortly after arriving back in Ireland from the ICC's annual conference in Melbourne where the new structures and powerbases were rubber-stamped, but his pragmatic view of the Big Three is that it was the best way forward.

"There's this sense that from a pure best practice, governance perspective, does it look great? Probably not," he said. "But in terms of what governance is meant to be, it's probably meant to be a means to an end where a sport will be meritocratic, which from our point of view it is now becoming and there are better means for us to realise our objectives."

That key objective for Ireland remains Test cricket and Deutrom remained steadfast in his belief that Ireland will achieve their goal with the prize of that match against England.

"Is it still important? Hell, yes. Why? Because it's the best. If we are the No. 1 Associate what do we do next? When we launched that strategy it probably came out of nowhere. The ICC had not really considered expanding the number of Test nations. I hope it does not come across as arrogant, but I'm of no doubt that ICC would not have put that pathway in place had Ireland not stated its aim. We wanted to look at a proper vision."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on July 13, 2014, 4:38 GMT

    The only way its going to be kept to 14 teams is if Ireland or Afghanistan win at least 2 or 3 games as well as Scotland and the UAE putting up a good fight and making their games into a good contest, but if this doesn't happen it would pretty much kill off the associates from the world cup all together,so if these associates want to play at the top they need to stand and deliver,get up set victories and prove to the critics and the ICC board why they deserve to play at this level,after all theres nothing better than seeing David take down Goliath.

  • Dummy4 on July 12, 2014, 14:20 GMT

    World Cup? More like the Commonwealth + 1 Cup .... As a Bermudian cricket the governance of this sport is the worst in the world. against Expansion for decades now, they shouldn't be allowed to use the words International or World for any of their titles or tournaments in future till real changes occur.

  • Dummy4 on July 12, 2014, 11:44 GMT

    Do 10 countries mean a world? I mean, are you serious? One the one hand ICC talks about promoting cricket and on another they plan to reduce the no. of team in the world cup from 14 to 10. If they're concerned about the quality of contests then cricket should be promoted in a way to let the countries form their teams. Look at FIFA, 32 countries playing, this has definitely helped in making the game as popular as it is.

  • Dummy4 on July 12, 2014, 4:46 GMT

    there must be a minimum of 20 countries in wc,a 10 country world cup is not at all considered as world cup. icc has done very poor homework on this aspect ,football has 32 and rugby has 20 and why cricket has only 10 teams??????

  • Dummy4 on July 11, 2014, 23:05 GMT

    Surely the point of a "World" Cup is that there are cricketing nations from all over, rather than just the 10 that always play each other? Can we really call it a World Cup if the usual nations are the only ones playing? At an absolute MINIMUM, WC should have 12 countries playing as there is an addition to the test nations playing. Ideally 14 would work as Ireland, Netherlands, UAE and Afghanistan have shown that they can compete and won't be there simply to make up numbers.

  • Dummy4 on July 11, 2014, 20:22 GMT

    Can't we just have an 8 team knockout WC with 4 quarter-finals, 2 semis and a final. There you go, seven matches, which is more than long enough....

  • Joel on July 11, 2014, 18:50 GMT

    that's a great idea by Amit Shukla having 20 teams in n 5 groups of 4, followed by super 10 in 2 groups of 5, semis & final. This would certainly give all the associates teams fair chance of show casing their talents in a big stage like world cup...ICC should think in the same lines

  • Dummy4 on July 11, 2014, 18:13 GMT

    the 10 team everyone plays everyone is the worst format for cricket world cup and will increase the number of meaningless matches and seeing same teams being repeated over again

    icc should go with 20 teams in 5 groups of 4, followed by super 10 in 2 groups of 5, semis & final. total of 53 matches with the 1st round giving associates a chance to show what they can do with hopefully 1-2 of them moving to the super 10s. then the commercial friendly stages in super 10s, semis & final. all in a very short world cup with 20 teams & 53 matches

  • Dummy4 on July 11, 2014, 18:09 GMT

    ICC should try to reach affiliate and associate countries to bring in more teams as well as expanding it's business...and dnt know why they are very reluctant to do so...the likes of afganisthan ireland netherland scotland nepal f gvn proper facility and confidence, they cn b vry good un4tunately ICC s busy wd its power struggle....ridiculous

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