<
>

Shorter and smaller World Cup proposed

The ICC chief executives' committee has recommended the 2011 World Cup in Asia be reduced from 16 to 14 teams and cut down from 47 to 38 days. If approved by the ICC board during its meeting on March 18 the next World Cup would be significantly shorter than the 2007 Caribbean event, which was slammed by players and spectators for being too long.
The suggested new format involves two groups of seven teams with the top four from each group progressing to a knock-out phase that starts with the quarter-finals. In the 2007 World Cup there were four groups of four followed by the Super Eights.

A large number of the Super Eights matches were one-sided because Ireland and Bangladesh progressed from their groups and the new format should ensure less chance of an early upset - such as Ireland beating Pakistan - having a major impact on the tournament. The cut to 14 teams means that two of the Associate slots would be lost.

The committee also unanimously approved a proposal prepared by ICC management on the greater use of technology in decision-making. This proposal, which was drawn up following directions from the ICC cricket committee, suggests the trialling of an "umpire decision review system" during a Test series.

MCC has already offered the England-South Africa Test at Lord's in July as an opportunity for a test of the technology. If the trial is given the go-ahead detailed playing conditions will be developed in consultation with the ICC Cricket Committee.

During the meeting in Kuala Lumpur it was also agreed the ICC will take a zero-tolerance approach to inappropriate public comment and abusive behaviour by players, team officials and individual board members. The ICC's code of conduct already outlaws "public criticism of, or inappropriate comment on a match-related incident or match official" and also "using language that is obscene, offensive or of a seriously insulting nature to another player, umpire, referee, team official or spectator".