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Minnows excluded: fans outraged

Also: world's batsmen hold emergency board meeting

Nishant Joshi

Comments: 28 | Text size: A | A
Kieron Pollard hurt his finger while taking a diving catch, India v West Indies, Group B, World Cup 2011, March 20, 2011
Kieron Pollard makes his feelings clear on being informed of the exclusion of minnows from the next World Cup © Associated Press

DUBAI - Monday, there was a worldwide uproar as it was announced that the 2015 edition of the ICC cricket World Cup would only feature Test-playing nations, a decision met with anguish by fans and batsmen alike.

An ICC spokesman explained the situation: "The World Cup is a global event - there is absolutely no place for teams from around the world to participate in such a competition."

In Holland, riot police used tear gas and water cannons, as the notoriously polite cricket fans of Heerenveen descended on the city centre en masse, chanting well-worn slogans such as: "ICC All Out!" and "Free Tibet! And Holland and Ireland!"

The well-organised Dutch fans also came prepared with placards: "Try the ICC @ the International Criminal Court (it's only round the corner)," and "Give ICC the index finger!" were staples of the non-violent yet forceful protest.

Despite it being such a peaceful protest that Dutch fans were handing out cups of tea and finger sandwiches to passers-by, tear gas and water cannons were deemed necessary after an anonymous ICC representative called Dutch authorities, ominously explaining how they "have men in FIFA too, you know".

In Dublin, Ireland's cricket fraternity was in a state of shock, after having left the World Cup with their heads held high. Batting hero Kevin O'Brien said: "Look mate, it'll all work out fine in the end. But if you give us back Eoin Morgan, we promise to keep our mouths shut for the next four years."

MEANWHILE IN DUBAI an emergency meeting was called of the International Federation of Rusty Batsmen, where the decision to exclude minnows from the World Cup was received with an overwhelming sense of tragedy.

In a funereal atmosphere inside the packed Vinod Kambli Hall, incumbent IFRB president Brendon McCullum was left traumatised by the announcement. "No Canada? No Kenya? How on earth do you expect us to bat ourselves back into form? All this just as I was just starting to decipher Balaji Rao's slider," said McCullum, who averages 153 against Canada.

On being told that at least he'd still be able to face Zimbabwe in 2015, McCullum said: "Ah yes, Zimbo, I average 129 against them, right? But I thought you said only Test nations would be playing in 2015... oh, seriously? Zimbabwe are back in Test cricket?"

McCullum was cut short, as an ICC agent in suit, black tie and sunglasses appeared from the shadows, summarily shook his head and retreated into the darkness.

As if on the cusp of concluding an important business transaction, honorary life member JP Duminy (average: 102.25 v Zimbabwe) looked on with great interest, occasionally nodding firmly, and tentatively red-inking dates in his 2015 diary.

"It's not all bad - we just reached a landmark deal, getting tailenders to agree that they'd throw away their wickets to Steve Smith," said Kieron Pollard, a keen participant in his first meeting of the federation, beaming from ear to ear. "It should keep Smith in the Aussie side for the foreseeable future."

Since Ricky Ponting - ever the optimist - classed him as an "allrounder", Smith is also a de facto member of the IFRB, and initiated a standing ovation in response to Pollard's assertion.

Nishant Joshi is a medical student. When not taking patient histories, he is editor of The Alternative Cricket Almanack 2011. He blogs here and tweets here

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Posted by Akber on (April 10, 2011, 16:35 GMT)

no minnows... how would sachin score the 100th hundred now ... ?

Posted by Satyam on (April 8, 2011, 19:36 GMT)

@Andrea De Vecchi: One data point does not a statistic make ... ha ha

Posted by Adil on (April 8, 2011, 3:33 GMT)

it is a humorous Article guys and should be taken as light humor ... Lots of people don't get the point of the article which makes me question there senses "what do you expect when you open page2, a serious insider report" ... come on people :)

Posted by Tim on (April 8, 2011, 2:39 GMT)

Interestingly there are no Englishmen on this panel.

Posted by Dummy4 on (April 8, 2011, 1:56 GMT)

As outraged as I am with the whole World Cup debacle, I laughed here. Good work :D

Posted by Dummy4 on (April 8, 2011, 1:34 GMT)

i do not agree with the ICCdecision to axed the associate nations from the world cup. the ICC should of thought of another way for qualifying for the world cup in Australia and New Zealand in 2015. i was thinking along the way the IRB does their automatic qualifying with the quarter-finalists qualifying and the others to have to qualify again for the next world cup. my suggestion if it is to be only 10 teams the top eight teams from the previous tournament qualify.the bottom teams would then play against the associate nations for the last spots. i agree with only the test nations at the world cup sees the end of the 50 over game as we know. BAD DESISION ICC.

Posted by Dummy4 on (April 7, 2011, 23:57 GMT)

"No Canada? No Kenya? How on earth do you expect us to bat ourselves back into form? All this just as I was just starting to decipher Balaji Rao's slider," said McCullum.

Aweome! Simply fatastic. You made my day..On a serious note Ireland , Netherlands & Canada deserved world cup chances!

Posted by Joe on (April 7, 2011, 23:19 GMT)

I can't be bothered with this pathetic attempt at humour, particularly as it is a crass attempt to make light of the worst decision in the history of International Cricket and believe me that takes so doing with some of the previous howlers that have been made.

Still I suppose 'Hospital' humour is to some peoples taste

Posted by al on (April 7, 2011, 19:47 GMT)

@wizzla : wow! what an observation!! I don't think anyone realized that!!!

Posted by Dummy4 on (April 7, 2011, 18:42 GMT)

Well I'm glad that Cricinfo is treating the utter body-blow to the development of the game around the world with such a serious, measured report.

An Irish youngster, perhaps inspired by his team's recent excellent performance (not just in the World Cup - Ireland are rated above a 'full' ICC member in the ODI rankings) has just been told by the world governing body that he has no chance at all of playing for his country in a World cup for another 7 years!

And Ireland are currently closer in ODI ranking to the 8th and 9th place spots (West Indies and Bangladesh) than those teams are to the 7th place team (New Zealand).

Posted by Suresh on (April 7, 2011, 18:10 GMT)

I suggest ICC have this format for the next World Cup: 1 -Test playing nations, Eng, Aus, NZ, WI, Ind, Bangla, S Lanka, SA, Pak, Zim(if qualify) will need to play a RoundRobin format 50:50 matches (all countries play one match with each), the four teams from the bottom get eliminated....(6 Teams qualify) 2 - Eight non test playing nations(Can, Ken, Ire, Scot, Holl, HK, UAE, AFG) play a Mini World Cup before start of the above main world Cup, the FOUR top teams from this MINI group qualify for the main World Cup and join the top 6 teams in the MAIN group there and play from the Qtr Final stage.

This will keep the interest of the "Minnows" alive.....and also give them freedom to horn their skills among equal strength teams in the MINI W CUP game... Suresh

Posted by ravinder on (April 7, 2011, 15:13 GMT)

A tragic day for Ian Bell; the greatest batsman the planet has ever seen. His score may never reach double digits again.

Posted by Damion on (April 7, 2011, 15:03 GMT)

On a more serious not thought, how much of England's team member were actually born there? The captain Strauss perhaps…. Nope, ah Peterson - SA, Morgan - Ireland, Trott - SA, Dernbach nope. Since England team has so many deportees why not boost the none test playing teams with some player from SA or "Ireland" to make them more competitive

Posted by Damion on (April 7, 2011, 14:45 GMT)

Nishant Joshi I was, confused after reading this article, it was almost poetic, almost a story and almost made a point. I am still unclear as to the point this article is trying to make. Can you write a prescription for that. lol forgot need a medical license for that :-)..

Posted by Rahul on (April 7, 2011, 14:35 GMT)

nice going mr. joshi... :) another feather in page 2's cap!!

Posted by Rakesh on (April 7, 2011, 13:55 GMT)

IS there something called minnow team. Each one is different . We are shocked for especially Ireland not getting chance. You call others minnows and that miust include Bangladesh and Zimbabwe. Ireland is worthwhile to be among top teams. Using the world minnow depicts profound racism and urge of authors to poke fun of others.

Posted by Sun on (April 7, 2011, 13:28 GMT)

hahaha. loved it. I know people are upset about leaving out the minnows, I am too. However, they do get thrashed around and have featured in most shameful records. O'Brien's innings was a fluke. People are just going to keep citing for the years to come. How sad.

Posted by Anil on (April 7, 2011, 13:19 GMT)

Some ICC Test Teams (10) forgot where they came from. Each had its own fight for recognition... to be accepted for world competition. This decision will just put Cricket back into the Ice Age. If ICC has its way all cricket will be played in Mumbai.

Posted by Jijo on (April 7, 2011, 12:31 GMT)

@the author, better stick to what you do best, dry article :(

Posted by Chris on (April 7, 2011, 11:48 GMT)

LOL @ Balaji Rao's slider

Posted by Adil on (April 7, 2011, 11:45 GMT)

counting WI, NZ and England in minnows is a bit of injustice........

Posted by Dummy4 on (April 7, 2011, 11:39 GMT)

Worst attempt at humour I've seen, particularly when referring to such an immoral decision by a corrupt and inept bunch of so called administrators.

Posted by Tony on (April 7, 2011, 11:14 GMT)

Frankly, not much hilarious. All players of test nation seems protesting the decision by not speaking out about it. Other Minnows Bangladesh, Zim, Eng, WI and NZ are the biggest gainers.

Posted by varun on (April 7, 2011, 10:22 GMT)

It is a real group, You cannot insult them. Cricket is a fair game ok. Minnows should take part in the game, not so that we get batting practice (we emphasizing test playing nations) but so that they get to play more. The ICC should not change the rules. Looking at the way the minnows played this CWC, they need to participate otherwise, they will not get any better and we will not get any worse (again by we I mean Test Playing nations). It is almost as if One of ICC teams have bribed the ICC. Horrible.

Posted by ajay on (April 7, 2011, 9:13 GMT)

Hilarious piece!!...Vinod Kambli hall haha

Posted by Dummy4 on (April 7, 2011, 8:51 GMT)

Dinesh Chandimal averages 111 against India and Dimitri Mascarenhas is in the 80s. I wonder if India is to be included in the minnows, then...

P.S. I forgot: Tendulkar averages 21 against Ireland and 39 against the Netherlands...

Posted by Dummy4 on (April 7, 2011, 8:16 GMT)

Not at all comical. The entire article makes me sleepy.Best of Luck next time....

Posted by Adil on (April 7, 2011, 7:27 GMT)

lolz ... " International Federation of Rusty Batsmen" .... EPIC :)

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