Associate news February 16, 2011

Players back Associates for World Cup

ESPNcricinfo staff
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Several leading players have added their voices to the debate over the involvement of Associate nations in future World Cups, with England offspinner Graeme Swann asking: "Why would you want to take the world out of the World Cup?"

Under current ICC proposals the Associate nations could be excluded from future World Cups from 2015, when the tournament could be reduced to just 10 teams, but Swann and a number of other cricketers from Test-playing nations interviewed by The Wisden Cricketer disagree with the move. "Yes, of course the emerging nations should stay in it," added Swann. "Shocks can happen."

While a bloated World Cup schedule and a preponderance of one-sided, uneven games in the early stages of the world tournament have drawn criticism in the past, it appears that the players themselves would not like to see the so-called 'minnows' excluded.

"There's no reason why you can't have those teams in the competition," added Australian fast bowler Shaun Tait. "To play against the best players and sides in the world is massive and I wouldn't want to take that away from anyone."

AB de Villiers added that he saw value in the smaller nations' involvement in major tournaments. "It makes it more colourful and it's good for the growth of the game," he said. "Playing on the subcontinent levels things out and they can be harder than the best teams because their bowlers are slower and it makes it tough for batsmen."

Brendon McCullum was not unequivocal in his backing of Associate involvement in the World Cup, but did highlight the potential for smaller nations to inflict embarrassing defeats. "It's great from their perspective that they're there," he said. "Does it diminish the value of the tournament? I'm not entirely sure. They're in at this stage, so we should respect that. It's a little bit scary actually. All you think about is playing the knockouts, winning the big games. But to be part of the big moments you've got to overcome the banana-skin games."

Indian batsman Suresh Raina added that he believed it was only fair that the Associates play in the World Cup as they don't take part in big international series and need some way to learn and improve, and veteran Kenya batsman Steve Tikolo strongly echoed his sentiments.

"The World Cup offers us the chance to test ourselves against the Test nations which we rarely do nowadays," said Tikolo, who was part of Kenyan teams that beat West Indies at the 1996 event and reached the Semi Finals in 2003. "If we can do well, then we can really push our case to have more games against the bigger teams. They're the matches that everyone will judge us by."

The ICC have indicated that they are yet to make a final decision on qualification procedures for the 2015 World Cup and have made the seemingly placatory move of announcing plans to expand the World Twenty20 to 16 teams. "How the 10 members are to be determined is still to be decided," insisted Dave Richardson, the ICC's general manager for cricket. "It could be the full members only but it could be not."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • gothetaniwha on February 18, 2011, 21:06 GMT

    There,s no quick fix here but agree with most over a second tier comp involving the assocs to qualify for next WC . maybe the QF from this WC automatic qualify for next WC and the top 2/4 teams from a second tier comp played just before next WC to qualify. The problem I have , since the first WC in 75 teams teams like Canada , USA ,UAE have not developed their own players and are propped up by very average Asian,NZ ,WI, AUS expats . (Lets get real here folks Canada best players at last 2WC Billcliff and Davidson were only fringe F/C players back in there own countries at best) . . I agree grow the game , Remember Sri Lanka were an associate in 75 ,79 and won WC in 96 .ZIM are back on track and IRE are close to test status and Kenya have proven they can upset teams , and I wouldn,t want to play BD in QF and SF in this WC .

  • on February 18, 2011, 20:19 GMT

    they're clearly going about it the wrong way....

    the FIFA world cup.... is not so much about the big names as it is about the small ones....

    there can only be so many teams in the top 10 or 15 in the world.... then you have another 15-20 from nowwhere that compete against one another.

    the T20 format is ideal for a TRUE cricketing world cup... divide each part of the world into various territories.. let the betst 3 or 4 from each territory qualify and participate... ot may seem small and insignificant... but i think some sort of match like afghanistan vs canada...

    or kenya vs zimbabwe are DEFINITELY more likely to draw more attention than australia vs scotland

    india vs ireland.

    the T20 format .. altho i hate it... is our ticket to pushing the game worldwide... and for that i'll respect it... and support it.

    50 overs need to e moved from not so traditional venues i believe... eventually.. simple fact.. USA is going to have to host it... it did WONDERS for football there.

  • Dhushan on February 18, 2011, 19:13 GMT

    I maybe wrong but I won't be surprised if this decision is also to satisfy BCCI. As the ICC said before, the 2011 World Cup format is in favour of the top teams because India & Pakistan crashed out last time & there were huge losses financially but look at the strides CRICKET made. Isn't this why we're doing this? For cricket & not to fill cricket boards & their administrators with money? Let the other nations play & make it more competitive. Every World Cup there is an upset which makes the tournament all the more exciting & interesting to follow & it gives everyone opportunity to talk about it for the next 4 years & thereon

  • Meety on February 17, 2011, 23:21 GMT

    Love the passion in this debate! @Mr James - I know sometimes "ex-pats" are an easy way to prop an Associates shortcomings. Places like Canada will never see Cricket as the main sport ahead of Baseball mainly in the mainstream. In places like Canada & USA, it will probably be a niche sport - but with their populations, it is conceivable that they could higher participation rates than NZ or Zim. They're worth perservering with. @kanerc - I agree with what you say, but its is not a case of it being alright for Test nations - as the Poms do cop a bit of grief at being a Sth Africa 2nd XI!!!! With regards Morgan - I think its fine that he plays for England in Tests - but should be allowed/made to play for Ireland in the W/Cup. If Ireland were to be granted Test status tomorrow, I think Morgan should automatically revert to Irish status. @Andrew B - fully agree, 16 teams (4 x 4), 2nd Round is QTR Finals. Every game has "meaning". Lose to a minnow & you may be out. Thats how it should be!

  • on February 17, 2011, 20:56 GMT

    @EdwardTLogan why cant you have it both ways? the reason the WC is so drawn out is beacause it only has 2 pools which consist of 7 teams! Look at all the other sporting WCs they only have 4 teams in a pool with only the top 2 teams qualifying. Cricket WC should be the same, 4 pools of 4 teams. This would allow 2 more associate nations to be involved and would shorten the format considerably as each team would only play 3 games in pool play. Thats only 24 games until quarters, instead of the 42 in this WC. It would also make pool play more relevant and exciting, as the test playing nations would not be able to take any games lightly, and would also unearth more talents from the associate nations who could then join T20 leagues around the world which would bring greater exposure to cricket in there home countries. Increasing cricket fan base and potential earnings.

  • MrArmchairCricket on February 17, 2011, 17:08 GMT

    The only reason the 2003 and '07 World Cups were too long, were because of the Super 6s/Super 8s respectively. The ICC could easily get away with a 16 team competition (4 groups of 4), still play 1 or 2 games a day, and still be able to finish the tournament well inside 2 months. The top 2 teams still go through to the next phase, but instead of having a second round robin stage, make it an elimination tourmanent after the the group stage. Sure certain fans may complain if their team is eliminated in the quarter finals because their team had a bad day, but so be it, life isn't always peaches and cream.

  • kanerc on February 17, 2011, 14:16 GMT

    @MrJames Wow thats a big brush you have there! and no shortage of tar either!

    I'd imagine the reason associates play non nationals in their sdie is the very same reason that England can/could play Morgan, Pieterson, Trott, Kieswetter, Prior, Lumb, Joyce, Caddick, Hick etc etc. The qualify, and they are good enough. For the record 11 of 15 of Irish squad are Irish born and bred, with the other 4 having made Ireland their home and contributed much to domestic grassroots club cricket.

    Yet it never seems to be an issue when a test nation plays 'foreigners'... Funny that.

  • crazytaurean on February 17, 2011, 14:00 GMT

    Its sucha a stupid thing not to include the so called Minnows. I would love to see teams from Netherlands, Oman, Namibia, Uganda, Caymen Islands, Denmark, Scotland, PNG et al. Imagine a Fifa world cup with 10 teams !! How dry and boring. ICC should be having more teams, perhaps a 4 groups 5 teams set up with top 2 teams from each group lining up for the quarters. More realistic in T20 format I guess, but still. I feel teams doing well should be given provisional ODI status. Case in point - Ireland. And maybe even Netherlands or Namibia or Scotland or Uganda. Infact the ICC bosses should mull a ranking similar to the FIFA rankings. Let the brighter ones participate in the domestic tourney of a permanent member.

    Like Canada/Argentina/USA participating in domestic Pura cup. Netherlands has already been participating in County cricket. Let teams from say Oman, Nepal, Afghanistan, Malaysia and even Hongkong participate in domestic tourneys of India or even Bangladesh. That would help !!

  • kanerc on February 17, 2011, 12:03 GMT

    @EdwardTLogan Dont be absurd - You can't call it a WORLD cup with only 10 teams in it. The CWC could easily be shortened by playing more than one game a day, every day! The ICC is being pure greedy, just trying to show the big teams more often. The reduction to a 10 team WC reduces the competiion length by only 1 DAY!! Thats 4 teams less, but only 1 DAY less length!!! You are right that its ICC greed for TV money but you are wrong everywhere else in your post. Associates are going make some big shocks at this WC starting with Ireland beating England. I look forward to you eating your words viz a viz "enough meaningless games"

  • MrJames on February 17, 2011, 11:07 GMT

    WHat i dont get is why all the associate teams have like pakistan or indian players in them. Im all for associate teams playing because im sure they would love the opportunity to test their skills against the best teams in the world. But why is a team like canada or HK filled with pakistan or indian players

  • gothetaniwha on February 18, 2011, 21:06 GMT

    There,s no quick fix here but agree with most over a second tier comp involving the assocs to qualify for next WC . maybe the QF from this WC automatic qualify for next WC and the top 2/4 teams from a second tier comp played just before next WC to qualify. The problem I have , since the first WC in 75 teams teams like Canada , USA ,UAE have not developed their own players and are propped up by very average Asian,NZ ,WI, AUS expats . (Lets get real here folks Canada best players at last 2WC Billcliff and Davidson were only fringe F/C players back in there own countries at best) . . I agree grow the game , Remember Sri Lanka were an associate in 75 ,79 and won WC in 96 .ZIM are back on track and IRE are close to test status and Kenya have proven they can upset teams , and I wouldn,t want to play BD in QF and SF in this WC .

  • on February 18, 2011, 20:19 GMT

    they're clearly going about it the wrong way....

    the FIFA world cup.... is not so much about the big names as it is about the small ones....

    there can only be so many teams in the top 10 or 15 in the world.... then you have another 15-20 from nowwhere that compete against one another.

    the T20 format is ideal for a TRUE cricketing world cup... divide each part of the world into various territories.. let the betst 3 or 4 from each territory qualify and participate... ot may seem small and insignificant... but i think some sort of match like afghanistan vs canada...

    or kenya vs zimbabwe are DEFINITELY more likely to draw more attention than australia vs scotland

    india vs ireland.

    the T20 format .. altho i hate it... is our ticket to pushing the game worldwide... and for that i'll respect it... and support it.

    50 overs need to e moved from not so traditional venues i believe... eventually.. simple fact.. USA is going to have to host it... it did WONDERS for football there.

  • Dhushan on February 18, 2011, 19:13 GMT

    I maybe wrong but I won't be surprised if this decision is also to satisfy BCCI. As the ICC said before, the 2011 World Cup format is in favour of the top teams because India & Pakistan crashed out last time & there were huge losses financially but look at the strides CRICKET made. Isn't this why we're doing this? For cricket & not to fill cricket boards & their administrators with money? Let the other nations play & make it more competitive. Every World Cup there is an upset which makes the tournament all the more exciting & interesting to follow & it gives everyone opportunity to talk about it for the next 4 years & thereon

  • Meety on February 17, 2011, 23:21 GMT

    Love the passion in this debate! @Mr James - I know sometimes "ex-pats" are an easy way to prop an Associates shortcomings. Places like Canada will never see Cricket as the main sport ahead of Baseball mainly in the mainstream. In places like Canada & USA, it will probably be a niche sport - but with their populations, it is conceivable that they could higher participation rates than NZ or Zim. They're worth perservering with. @kanerc - I agree with what you say, but its is not a case of it being alright for Test nations - as the Poms do cop a bit of grief at being a Sth Africa 2nd XI!!!! With regards Morgan - I think its fine that he plays for England in Tests - but should be allowed/made to play for Ireland in the W/Cup. If Ireland were to be granted Test status tomorrow, I think Morgan should automatically revert to Irish status. @Andrew B - fully agree, 16 teams (4 x 4), 2nd Round is QTR Finals. Every game has "meaning". Lose to a minnow & you may be out. Thats how it should be!

  • on February 17, 2011, 20:56 GMT

    @EdwardTLogan why cant you have it both ways? the reason the WC is so drawn out is beacause it only has 2 pools which consist of 7 teams! Look at all the other sporting WCs they only have 4 teams in a pool with only the top 2 teams qualifying. Cricket WC should be the same, 4 pools of 4 teams. This would allow 2 more associate nations to be involved and would shorten the format considerably as each team would only play 3 games in pool play. Thats only 24 games until quarters, instead of the 42 in this WC. It would also make pool play more relevant and exciting, as the test playing nations would not be able to take any games lightly, and would also unearth more talents from the associate nations who could then join T20 leagues around the world which would bring greater exposure to cricket in there home countries. Increasing cricket fan base and potential earnings.

  • MrArmchairCricket on February 17, 2011, 17:08 GMT

    The only reason the 2003 and '07 World Cups were too long, were because of the Super 6s/Super 8s respectively. The ICC could easily get away with a 16 team competition (4 groups of 4), still play 1 or 2 games a day, and still be able to finish the tournament well inside 2 months. The top 2 teams still go through to the next phase, but instead of having a second round robin stage, make it an elimination tourmanent after the the group stage. Sure certain fans may complain if their team is eliminated in the quarter finals because their team had a bad day, but so be it, life isn't always peaches and cream.

  • kanerc on February 17, 2011, 14:16 GMT

    @MrJames Wow thats a big brush you have there! and no shortage of tar either!

    I'd imagine the reason associates play non nationals in their sdie is the very same reason that England can/could play Morgan, Pieterson, Trott, Kieswetter, Prior, Lumb, Joyce, Caddick, Hick etc etc. The qualify, and they are good enough. For the record 11 of 15 of Irish squad are Irish born and bred, with the other 4 having made Ireland their home and contributed much to domestic grassroots club cricket.

    Yet it never seems to be an issue when a test nation plays 'foreigners'... Funny that.

  • crazytaurean on February 17, 2011, 14:00 GMT

    Its sucha a stupid thing not to include the so called Minnows. I would love to see teams from Netherlands, Oman, Namibia, Uganda, Caymen Islands, Denmark, Scotland, PNG et al. Imagine a Fifa world cup with 10 teams !! How dry and boring. ICC should be having more teams, perhaps a 4 groups 5 teams set up with top 2 teams from each group lining up for the quarters. More realistic in T20 format I guess, but still. I feel teams doing well should be given provisional ODI status. Case in point - Ireland. And maybe even Netherlands or Namibia or Scotland or Uganda. Infact the ICC bosses should mull a ranking similar to the FIFA rankings. Let the brighter ones participate in the domestic tourney of a permanent member.

    Like Canada/Argentina/USA participating in domestic Pura cup. Netherlands has already been participating in County cricket. Let teams from say Oman, Nepal, Afghanistan, Malaysia and even Hongkong participate in domestic tourneys of India or even Bangladesh. That would help !!

  • kanerc on February 17, 2011, 12:03 GMT

    @EdwardTLogan Dont be absurd - You can't call it a WORLD cup with only 10 teams in it. The CWC could easily be shortened by playing more than one game a day, every day! The ICC is being pure greedy, just trying to show the big teams more often. The reduction to a 10 team WC reduces the competiion length by only 1 DAY!! Thats 4 teams less, but only 1 DAY less length!!! You are right that its ICC greed for TV money but you are wrong everywhere else in your post. Associates are going make some big shocks at this WC starting with Ireland beating England. I look forward to you eating your words viz a viz "enough meaningless games"

  • MrJames on February 17, 2011, 11:07 GMT

    WHat i dont get is why all the associate teams have like pakistan or indian players in them. Im all for associate teams playing because im sure they would love the opportunity to test their skills against the best teams in the world. But why is a team like canada or HK filled with pakistan or indian players

  • Meety on February 17, 2011, 10:31 GMT

    @Alex Spurge - that's not as true now as it was (USA & Canada). They are getting 2nd generation immigrants playing the game more readily. I think Hong Kong & UAE are full of ex-pats. @Harvey - we already have the Champions Trophy, so why duplicate it? @Masroor Ahmed - good idea, I'd rather they all start in the one pool - then after the First Round they split into "Gold" & "Silver". They'd probably use Cup & Plate as the division names though! @saty2hoty - some good ideas, PNG has won through to Div 2, so they may make it to a WC in the not too distant future (assuming sanity prevails & more than 10 teams qualify).

  • saty2hoty on February 17, 2011, 9:15 GMT

    In some point of time in past India were also minnows, fate and the progress of these teams depends upon how ICC nourish and govern them. They must be there in World cup no doubt about that, but why don't ICC inject them in to the triangular s and Quadrangular. ICC should amend such rules that every bilateral ODI series should be converted in to the Triangular by injecting one of the minnows. They are just concentrating on few nations who are lucrative (who will pay them there salaries). BIG Matches should be played in the neutral venues like Namibia, papuanewguinea, Canada etc. this will help in increasing the popularity of cricket in those nations. Popularity(craze) is necessary in creating superheros like Sachin, Glenn, Gilly, Laxman. Spread Cricket (may cricket shall conquer the world)

  • on February 17, 2011, 7:18 GMT

    ICC should make a format of 12 teams(10+2 associates) so there will be more competition in associate teams to qualify for the world-cup and only quality associates teams will be playing. in this way games wont be spoiled. in each group it should be 6 teams so 4 out of 6 will qualify for quarter finals and and group matches will be interesting bcoz only 2 have to leave..... on the other hand ICC should take care of the pitches so the toss wont give any favour to any team and the contests will be equal.. for the sake of 50 over matches ICC should make it compulsory that the batting power-play should be taken before 40 overs in this way people will enjoy the middle overs as well. doesn't matter if there is a power-play or net every team is going to slog the last 10 overs anyway..

  • on February 17, 2011, 6:13 GMT

    World Cup 2015 should consist of Gold and Silver plate to make matches more interesting. WC Gold Plate teams should be limited to 8. The bottom two test playing nations (Based on July 2014 ICC ODI ranking) should be included for WC silver plate along-with 6 other associate teams. Gold plate and silver plate matches may be scheduled simultaneously and single league basis followed by semis and Finals. This idea is just to eliminate one sided games and provide competitive cricket with more opportunity for associates teams to excel. My two cents worth idea....

  • Nipun on February 17, 2011, 5:48 GMT

    Brendon McCullum should never think that these teams devalue the WC.Who's this Brendon McCullum? A player with an ODI batting average of 28 after playing about 200 ODIs.& what team does he represent? New Zealand,who,I think,face a serious death fight from Zimbabwe,Kenya & Canada to make it through to the quarters.

  • evenflow_1990 on February 17, 2011, 5:33 GMT

    sri lanka was once a minnow, and now they are among the favourites to win this world cup. you need to give these guys a chance, because twenty years down the line anything could happen.

  • landl47 on February 17, 2011, 4:37 GMT

    Having lived first in Canada and now in the USA for almost 30 years, I am totally opposed to excluding the smaller teams. The World Cup of soccer has a 32-team tournament and always includes a few smaller teams. There's no reason why the cricket WC can't do the same thing; 14 teams seems about right to me. If the ICC wants the game to grow to be a genuine world sport, the smaller countries have to be given the incentive to play. Congratulations to the players who spoke out in favor of keeping the associates involved.

  • Meety on February 16, 2011, 23:22 GMT

    @ Timmuh - agree re: tours. Why doesn't the ICC include Ireland, Kenya & Afghanistan in the FTP? They can be short tours, with plenty of exposure against 1st class sides. I don't think it would take too much to get the above mentioned sides + Scotland up a level in competancy. Canada has been poor over the last few years, but have now started investing more in youth & some good results have followed. If Bangladesh hadn't been given opportunities - we wouldn't have Tamim & Shakib. The ICC is improving its development in a lot of ways - but anythiing less than 14 teams @ the next W/Cup will be detrimental to the game.

  • on February 16, 2011, 22:53 GMT

    It would be an atrocity to disenfranchise the associate and affilliate nations from the World Cup. We should not forget that Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe were all playing in the World Cup before they were full members, so why should the best of the rest not at least have the opportunity to try to beat the worlds best.

    The only reason some of the full members voted against it is that it can cost them revenue if they go out early, as did Pakistan and India last time round. An associate has got to the second stage in both of the last two world cups after all.

    I would like to see associates having the opportunity to play test match cricket if they are good enough through a new test championship, with the best eight teams (Ind, SA, Aus, Eng, Pak, SL, WI and NZ initially) playing for the cup every four years with the bottom relegated to a group with the eight best other nations (Ban, Zim, Ire, Afg, Sco, Ned, Ken, Can) playing over the same period with the top team promoted.

  • EdwardTLogan on February 16, 2011, 22:41 GMT

    You can't have it both ways. The last few editions of the CWC have been criticised for being too long, yet people want more than ten teams in the competition. I would rather 10 teams in two pools of five, with the top two from each pool going through to the semi finals. Won't happen of course, because the ICC wants the extra games to garner income from TV rights, but this it how it should be. Let the top nine ranked teams play and have one qualifier. ere are already enough meaningless games in this CWC - we don't need any more!

  • hulk777 on February 16, 2011, 22:25 GMT

    ICC is moving backwards. It should make the "TOP teams" play regularly with the associate teams rather than depriving their only chance of playing against them in the current scenario. Make the TOP 6 from this world cup (4 SFinalist + 2 QF) as qualified for next world cup and the remaining teams should play with the other teams frequently for next two years to qualify for the next 6 or 8 positions in world cup. By this way it gives the so called minows a chance to improve gradually. By asking the minnows to play in their backyard and invite them for worldcup is ridiculous.

  • Harvey on February 16, 2011, 22:18 GMT

    I'm fully behind the decision to make it a 10-team tournament. However it would be wrong to make it 9+1. Only the top 6 ranked teams should automatically qualify, with the rest having to take part in a qualifying tournament with the top associates. This qualifying tournament could be hosted in an associate country, and would be a wonderful opportunity to promote the game outside the Test-playing world.

  • alexczarn on February 16, 2011, 21:55 GMT

    I personally think the Associate nations should be in. This is a development help, and not all the games are one-sided.

  • rocksaviour on February 16, 2011, 20:21 GMT

    I am all for having 16 teams in the World T20 and then the World Cup having 12 teams.

    Format wise have 4 groups of 4 in the T20 and 2 groups of 6 in the WC.

    There can easily be 3 games of T20 in a day during a group phase. One good thing we have with the T20 as its been so far is the shortness of the whole thing where as the '07 WC went on for an age, I'm glad that after the group it is straight into a Knockout phase.

    20 over cricket brings any two sides with a gulf in quality closer together, whereas we can see some real one sided games between a strong side and a weak one when playing a 50 over match. 20 over cricket is something that will help globalisation of the game and then the developing Associates can work there way up against the bigger international sides. Cricket needs to get to other countries outside of the Top ten (incl. Zim and Ban) and then the likes of Ireland and Kenya who have a 'decent' record over the past few competitions.

  • gmaurup on February 16, 2011, 17:40 GMT

    I fully support the 14 team format. Canada gave England the scare today and Ireland and Netherlands are more than impressive in the warm ups. ICC went for super six format as SA was kicked out in Knockouts in 99 after winning all group matches. Then Kenya reached SF in 2003 and 2007 got rid of INd and PAK got out in First round. Any top team can get out in knock outs. ICC sholuld not try to save them. These Associates are not easy kills anymore, and they proved their worth in recent times. You are not going to see Bermuda-Srilanka type matches any more I believe. And what's the point about one sided games? There was absolutely no competition in Aus-SA and India-NZ warm up games. You want to throw Aus and NZ out of world cup for not being competitive enough? :D. I think Netherlands and Ireland is going to push WI and Bangladesh real hard in the group B matches to reach QFs. Good luck Associates.

  • on February 16, 2011, 17:16 GMT

    PLEASE KEEP associates in future World Cups. I don't particularly care if we don't see Canada again, the country doesn't care about cricket and their team is an expat quick option team. We need to see more of Ireland and Afghanistan, who are two future Test teams. Canada isn't a team representative of Canada, it is simply a quick fix, pick up the phone and call a failed first-class cricketer from Pakistan. If you put proper Canadians in the team, they'd soon plummet down the World Cricket League's, same with the USA.

    So ICC, promote the game and promote teams that promote the game. But teams like Canada and the USA need to be left out to dry.

  • NewYorkCricket on February 16, 2011, 17:05 GMT

    This is from a die hard fan who wants to see some quality cricket : Please do not spoil my world cup to promote cricket in countries where no body cares about it. Lets have 9 + 1 (associate team). Everybody plays each other. That makes every game interesting. That is the true world cup.

  • Nipun on February 16, 2011, 16:54 GMT

    If the associates are not allowed to play the world cup,from where would you have the next Sri Lanka,who grew up from the weak boys to the current strong men they are now ? Not only should they play the World Cup,they should play the strong nations regularly every year in first class matches.It's just that the ICC does not want the game to be globalised.Had the ICC been a FIFA-like organization,there would have been more than 20 elite cricket members by now.By the looks of things,I don't think anyone can see the number of elite cricket teams increasing in the next 10-20 years.

  • NewYorkCricket on February 16, 2011, 16:46 GMT

    This is from a die hard fan who wants to see some quality cricket : Please do not spoil my world cup to promote cricket in countries where no body cares about it. Lets have 9 + 1 (associate team). Everybody plays each other. That makes every game interesting. That is the true world cup.

  • Super_Cricketer on February 16, 2011, 16:14 GMT

    @Zaki B Ehssan, You said it.....ICC must continue the current format 14 Nations, 2 Groups, QF, SF and Final....I hope, if the warm-up matches are an indication, then we are going to see some exciting cricket from these associate nations. If that happens then ICC has no way but to continue the current format...All the best Kenya,Ireland, Netherland, Canada...Nothing is impossible!!!!!!!

  • crikkfan on February 16, 2011, 15:49 GMT

    I actually am in support of the decision - not sure why so many people are riled. I am all for associates playing against the big teams and getting real match experience to grow and improve - but is the world cup the best stage? What about the other 4 years between the tournament - how many times has india, australia, etc played even bangladesh, zimbabwe leave alone other teams. The way to blood them would be to have tiered tournaments with 70-80% of the games against equally matched teams with the incentive to move to top tier and play against the giants once in a while. World T20 on the other hand is a perfect place to play 16 or why not, even 24 teams and bring it closer to how soccer world cup is right no - in the name of globalization .

  • adam_clone on February 16, 2011, 15:43 GMT

    If they are going to axe the minnows, then for me ICC for me, would no longer be the 'International Cricket Council' but 'Idiotic CC'. And I am not going to expand the C's. Are they running the game or some sort of business? It is high time ICC drafted a legally bound process how an associate nation will qualify for the World Cup and also how an associate nation will progress to Test Status. It cannot be left to the deliberation of the BCCI, ACB and ECB anymore! ICC is just plain useless!!! I humbly request the cricinfo admins to start an open poll to gather public opinion on this matter and submit it to the ICC. That is how you will be the people's website for the game. To think about it, if I were a William Porterfield or Noor Ali from Afghanistan, I would feel plain disappointed if the ICC's glass ceiling becomes a communist dictator. Guys, support me on this so that atleast the cricinfo admins see this...

  • mautan on February 16, 2011, 15:09 GMT

    First of all thanks to all the players who spoke out for the associates! Its sad that someone like Tendulkar rarely gives his support to something like this....although he has time for going against the Udrs!Anyways... The fact is that ICC cannot ask the full nations to qualify as technically they are entitled to that privilage of playing in the WC. So if ICC sticks to this stupid decision, the associates will be out and that will be the end of crickets growth. With so little interest and players in NZ and WI, there will be constant matches between the top 2/3 nations. Like Ind-Aus,Ind-SL,SA-Eng etc. I wonder if the associates can go to some international court for justice? This is beyond unfair, this is dictatorship. Associate cricket is the strongest it has ever been today..see Canadas match today with Eng...feel very sad and angry!

  • on February 16, 2011, 13:36 GMT

    The Evil Queen ICC has a lot to ponder over deciding to have only 10 teams for next WC.How can it be called a World Cup then ? and how do we find talents like Rizwan Cheema,Ryan Ten Deschoate,Seren Waters etc if ICC doesn't give the associate teams a chance? Hope by wildest hope that some ICC official reads this.

  • Bhupal_Pandey on February 16, 2011, 13:25 GMT

    On an aside, I think England have a special affinity for the Associate nations. First, such friendly comments from Swann and now, a very strong statement of intent issued by English team by almost getting beaten by Canada. Please England, continue to show good sportsmanship by choosing to play close games with Ireland and Netherlands as well, just for the sake of the game. With others, well, playing close games is not in your hands, try requesting to them.

  • D.V.C. on February 16, 2011, 13:14 GMT

    The Associates can't properly develop if all they have to aim for it T20 cricket. They need the World Cup and Cricket needs them playing longer forms of the game. For my mind the best format would be to add an extra 'round to the Champions Trophy format that worked so well last time (2 groups of 4): simply have 16 teams in 4 groups of 4, which would become 2 groups of 4 in a second round, then semi-finals and a final. That's fewer games than this time round, fewer than there was in the WI, but still a good amount of cricket and a fair chance for everyone to compete.

  • TorontoBlueJays on February 16, 2011, 12:35 GMT

    What is the point of having only 10 major teams in the World Cup. Minnows always put up a fight in these big tournaments, and if there are only going to be 10 teams, the ICC should stop the Champions Trophy tournament because its the same tournament

  • on February 16, 2011, 12:33 GMT

    If ICC excludes the associate nations, then I think there will be no better idiots than ICC. Having associate nations in the world cup is not only good for the respective teams, it is indeed good for the game of cricket. I hope the wisdom prevails for ICC executives and members.

  • on February 16, 2011, 12:28 GMT

    I have been involved in cricket in Canada for 30 years.The best thing that has happened to cricket in countries like Canada over that period is the funds the ICC provides the Associate countries. This support is invaluable to the growth of the sport in these countries. Some of these countries have more people playing cricket than some Full Member countries.This is a wonderfull opportunity to grow cricket worldwide by continuing to support and fund these emerging cricket powers. The pinnacle of the cricket world is the Cricket World Cup played in the 50 over format. In a country like Canada the particpation in the CWC provides Cricket Canada and all its players and members a focal point and goal to strive for. The achievement of this goal has and will drive cricket boards in the Associates to develop and grow cricket in their countries.50 over cricket is the right place to develop the skills required to improve cricket in these countries.20/20 is not.Removal from the CWC will hamper the

  • on February 16, 2011, 12:13 GMT

    i certainly dont think this decision is good because this countries many say as minnows have only chance that is world cup to show the world that there is also team such as canada, afghanistan, scotland, ireland, netherlands...etc. that are going to play and emerge some great hidden players such as ryan ten doescathe, john davison and many more..

  • nelo on February 16, 2011, 12:06 GMT

    Cricket is already struggling for universal recognition beyond nine or so countries around the world. I do not think that the ICC would be so stupid to bow to the ill advice being given to them by especially some past players, who think they are the Gods of the game, and threby questing that the handful of so called minnows be kicked out of the finals of the tournament! If those said past players were not given an opportunity as minnows some time in their careers, how could they be bragging and boasting about their achievements now? In making the decision, the question to be asked is: "If the skillful master does not train the 'unskillful' apprentice, how does he learn the skill?". It is the basic principle of apprenticeship, some one has to teach before someone can learn; and one learns best when exposed to the raw practical elements of the skill to be learned. Cricket would be best served if as many nations as possible are given the opportunity to participate in the WC. - win or lose

  • eddsnake on February 16, 2011, 12:00 GMT

    Hopefully it's not too late for the ICC to change their idiotic decision. If Ireland et al can spring a few surprises, or even make the quarter-finals, then the ICC won't have a choice but to include the associates (preferably 4 as for the 2011 tournament).

  • Timmuh on February 16, 2011, 11:47 GMT

    Some Associates must remain in the World Cup. What is needed more than anything else is for the leading associates to come up against professional cricketers more often. They need to be playing regular First Class and List A games against English counties, Australian and Indian states, South African provinces, etc - especially First Class, that is where the real cricket is played. And if they start doing well against those, then facing "A" teams. This is in addition to having more ODIs against the lower ranked full members, particularly in the twelve months leading to a world cup. How much better prepared would Ireland be if they had hosted a few games against Bangladesh and toured New Zealand. The World Cup should not be the ultimate goal, however. Having these sides prepared for Test cricket; the only true form of the game; should be that aim.

  • Dr_Omar_Khan on February 16, 2011, 11:30 GMT

    What ICC needs to do is bunch up the games, so that during the initial part of the tournament 5-6 games are being played one day. The problem is not how many teams there are, the challenge is there are so many wasted days trying to play the initial matches. If ICC claims the games with associate nations generate little interest then why waste so many days covering them. Bunch them up and get the tournament over in 15 days! If they take the associate nations out then what's the difference between the world cup and champions trophy.

  • honeyb on February 16, 2011, 11:12 GMT

    There is a place for associates in the world cup. Not many realise that Sri Lanka played the 75 and 79 world cup as an associate. They beat india which went a long way in them achieving test status in 81. The rest as they say is History. What the ICC should look out for is having too many associates and bloating the tournament. It should be the 10 major countries plus 2 associates which is a nicer balance. This is taking in to account that Zimbabwe and Bangladesh (granted they've made huge strides) are still considered minnows in the world game. They've really should have pulled out all the stops to get the group stages finished in 2 weeks. If this means playing 2 or 3 games a day then so be it. This time around there are 3 countries co-hosting the tournament. So why they don't play 3 group games a day is a mystery. but then the ICC doesn't like doing logical things.

  • on February 16, 2011, 11:03 GMT

    @pandey: i completely agree with the solution that you have put forth pandeyji... The format will eliminate the dull one sided games and also provide the associate nations with an opportunity to perform and prove their mettle. And lets not forget that the more cricket reaches the masses, the better its for the game. If B'desh werent given the opportunity they were, god only knows how long it would have taken them to get to the position they are at now. Also teams like Ireland and to a large extent Af'sthan have shown that they are no push overs in the shorter version.

  • on February 16, 2011, 10:52 GMT

    I agree with rob.If ICC dont give chance the assosiate nation for the World cup than how cricket will b more globalised or popular in the world and how can u say it is world Cup.It is like same nation playing everytime,totally boring if its more or less match.I really very much support Ireland,Holland,Kenya,afganistan.I believe if they get more chance to play big nation soon they will be a very strong side in world cricket.

  • Meety on February 16, 2011, 10:40 GMT

    @Bhupal_Pandey - good in theory, & at least it would have SOME Associate involvement. I'd go 16 teams in 4 Groups of 4. Top 2 sides advance from each Group. Then it would be Qtr Finals from there. There is less games, less lop sided results & its straight into the pointy end of the tournament. I would have the sides seeded according to their ICC rankings, the side seeded #1 & 2 would have easier draws with the team ranked 4th in the "Pool of Death". I don't care if some of the "big boys" get sent home early, it adds to the drama. BTW, I think T20 should involve 32 sides. If the sport doesn't grow internationally, the whole point of these tournamnets become irrelevant.

  • A_HTIMAN on February 16, 2011, 10:40 GMT

    Give Associates a chance :) They deserve it. Either create a two tier system where first 6 teams get automatic entry or keep the format as it is in 2011 How the heck can associates improve if they are not allowed to play with big nations. Thanks for all the player who are Backing them !!!

  • on February 16, 2011, 10:39 GMT

    It'll be ICC's worst ever move if they are to axe the associate nations out of the World Cup. Perhaps, the same format as this year should continue and, these associates are a step ahead to increase the popularity and growth of the game.

  • Advance-Australia-Fair on February 16, 2011, 10:35 GMT

    Why would you want to ditch the associate nations from the World Cup? Sure they produce some one-sided and/or boring matches, but they've also given us some of the most amazing success stories - think Ireland beating Pakistan in 2007 on St. Patrick's Day. Kenya making the semis in 2003. John Davison's 66-ball ton in South Africa '03. Think Afghanistan making the World Twenty20 (I know it's a different format, different comp, but you get the point, right?). Netherlands beating England, World Twenty20 2009. And this is just the last few years. I truly hope that the ICC don't drop the smaller nations from the World Cup at any time in the future. Admittedly, 16 teams in 2007 was probably too many, but 14 seems about right. At the very least 12, like the World Twenty20, which at least lets two smaller teams in. And think of the players from these places: the chance to play the best in front of the whole world! How can you take this opportunity away from them?

  • Bhupal_Pandey on February 16, 2011, 10:11 GMT

    I would not support complete exclusion of them, but a two tiered tournament, wherein top six ranked ICC ODI teams get automatic entry, and the bottom four ranked ICC ODI member nations along with four Associates, get divided into two groups of four teams each, and play games against each other. The top two teams from each group qualify to play semi-finals and the winners will automatically qualify for the Stage II of the World Cup. The Stage II will be a single group of 8 teams, everyone play everyone (a total of 28 matches) and top four teams will play semi-finals (1 vs. 4, 2 vs. 3). Again it can be said to be a bit harsh on the Associate Nations as well as lower ranked members as they will end up playing four more matches in the Cup, but if you see at the current format, Associate Nations arrived almost a fortnight earlier for the Cup and have been playing matches, so such a format can be accommodated. At the same time, it will also maintain public interest in ICC ODI rankings.

  • on February 16, 2011, 9:53 GMT

    If the associates were kicked out of the 2015 word cup in Australia, I would boycott it (am in nz) because as good as the gsme of cricket is, the globalisation of the game is what makes it special. Whats the point of calling it a world cup when the door is shut on the associates? Look at Canada beating Bangladesh in 2003, Afghanistan's fast rise in cricket, Ireland beating Pakistan in 2007, Netherlands beating England in a Twenty20... I think shutting out the associates and cancelling any chances they might have to advance in world cricket (and play cricket against the best teams and learn from them) is against the spirit of cricket. If there are more upsets like Ireland vs Pakistan, Kenya vs West Indies and the ICC still reduce the world cup to 10 teams then they are a bunch of idiots and instead of developing the game into a truly global sport they are hampering it. My interest in cricket didn't really take off until I seen that teams like Canada, USA, Afghanistan etc were playing.

  • Saim93 on February 16, 2011, 9:22 GMT

    Excluding the associates would be beyond stupid, the premier competition is the world cup not the T20.

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  • Saim93 on February 16, 2011, 9:22 GMT

    Excluding the associates would be beyond stupid, the premier competition is the world cup not the T20.

  • on February 16, 2011, 9:53 GMT

    If the associates were kicked out of the 2015 word cup in Australia, I would boycott it (am in nz) because as good as the gsme of cricket is, the globalisation of the game is what makes it special. Whats the point of calling it a world cup when the door is shut on the associates? Look at Canada beating Bangladesh in 2003, Afghanistan's fast rise in cricket, Ireland beating Pakistan in 2007, Netherlands beating England in a Twenty20... I think shutting out the associates and cancelling any chances they might have to advance in world cricket (and play cricket against the best teams and learn from them) is against the spirit of cricket. If there are more upsets like Ireland vs Pakistan, Kenya vs West Indies and the ICC still reduce the world cup to 10 teams then they are a bunch of idiots and instead of developing the game into a truly global sport they are hampering it. My interest in cricket didn't really take off until I seen that teams like Canada, USA, Afghanistan etc were playing.

  • Bhupal_Pandey on February 16, 2011, 10:11 GMT

    I would not support complete exclusion of them, but a two tiered tournament, wherein top six ranked ICC ODI teams get automatic entry, and the bottom four ranked ICC ODI member nations along with four Associates, get divided into two groups of four teams each, and play games against each other. The top two teams from each group qualify to play semi-finals and the winners will automatically qualify for the Stage II of the World Cup. The Stage II will be a single group of 8 teams, everyone play everyone (a total of 28 matches) and top four teams will play semi-finals (1 vs. 4, 2 vs. 3). Again it can be said to be a bit harsh on the Associate Nations as well as lower ranked members as they will end up playing four more matches in the Cup, but if you see at the current format, Associate Nations arrived almost a fortnight earlier for the Cup and have been playing matches, so such a format can be accommodated. At the same time, it will also maintain public interest in ICC ODI rankings.

  • Advance-Australia-Fair on February 16, 2011, 10:35 GMT

    Why would you want to ditch the associate nations from the World Cup? Sure they produce some one-sided and/or boring matches, but they've also given us some of the most amazing success stories - think Ireland beating Pakistan in 2007 on St. Patrick's Day. Kenya making the semis in 2003. John Davison's 66-ball ton in South Africa '03. Think Afghanistan making the World Twenty20 (I know it's a different format, different comp, but you get the point, right?). Netherlands beating England, World Twenty20 2009. And this is just the last few years. I truly hope that the ICC don't drop the smaller nations from the World Cup at any time in the future. Admittedly, 16 teams in 2007 was probably too many, but 14 seems about right. At the very least 12, like the World Twenty20, which at least lets two smaller teams in. And think of the players from these places: the chance to play the best in front of the whole world! How can you take this opportunity away from them?

  • on February 16, 2011, 10:39 GMT

    It'll be ICC's worst ever move if they are to axe the associate nations out of the World Cup. Perhaps, the same format as this year should continue and, these associates are a step ahead to increase the popularity and growth of the game.

  • A_HTIMAN on February 16, 2011, 10:40 GMT

    Give Associates a chance :) They deserve it. Either create a two tier system where first 6 teams get automatic entry or keep the format as it is in 2011 How the heck can associates improve if they are not allowed to play with big nations. Thanks for all the player who are Backing them !!!

  • Meety on February 16, 2011, 10:40 GMT

    @Bhupal_Pandey - good in theory, & at least it would have SOME Associate involvement. I'd go 16 teams in 4 Groups of 4. Top 2 sides advance from each Group. Then it would be Qtr Finals from there. There is less games, less lop sided results & its straight into the pointy end of the tournament. I would have the sides seeded according to their ICC rankings, the side seeded #1 & 2 would have easier draws with the team ranked 4th in the "Pool of Death". I don't care if some of the "big boys" get sent home early, it adds to the drama. BTW, I think T20 should involve 32 sides. If the sport doesn't grow internationally, the whole point of these tournamnets become irrelevant.

  • on February 16, 2011, 10:52 GMT

    I agree with rob.If ICC dont give chance the assosiate nation for the World cup than how cricket will b more globalised or popular in the world and how can u say it is world Cup.It is like same nation playing everytime,totally boring if its more or less match.I really very much support Ireland,Holland,Kenya,afganistan.I believe if they get more chance to play big nation soon they will be a very strong side in world cricket.

  • on February 16, 2011, 11:03 GMT

    @pandey: i completely agree with the solution that you have put forth pandeyji... The format will eliminate the dull one sided games and also provide the associate nations with an opportunity to perform and prove their mettle. And lets not forget that the more cricket reaches the masses, the better its for the game. If B'desh werent given the opportunity they were, god only knows how long it would have taken them to get to the position they are at now. Also teams like Ireland and to a large extent Af'sthan have shown that they are no push overs in the shorter version.

  • honeyb on February 16, 2011, 11:12 GMT

    There is a place for associates in the world cup. Not many realise that Sri Lanka played the 75 and 79 world cup as an associate. They beat india which went a long way in them achieving test status in 81. The rest as they say is History. What the ICC should look out for is having too many associates and bloating the tournament. It should be the 10 major countries plus 2 associates which is a nicer balance. This is taking in to account that Zimbabwe and Bangladesh (granted they've made huge strides) are still considered minnows in the world game. They've really should have pulled out all the stops to get the group stages finished in 2 weeks. If this means playing 2 or 3 games a day then so be it. This time around there are 3 countries co-hosting the tournament. So why they don't play 3 group games a day is a mystery. but then the ICC doesn't like doing logical things.