ICC to reconsider cricket world cup format changes

2011-04-19 14:36

London – The International Cricket Council (ICC) announced on Tuesday that they have been asked by their president, Sharad Pawar, to reconsider proposals to streamline the cricket World Cup.

Under plans announced during an ICC summit in Mumbai earlier this month, participation at the 2015 and 2019 World Cups will be restricted to just the 10 full ICC member teams.

This year’s World Cup, won by India, featured 14 teams, and the decision to exclude non Test-playing nations such as Ireland and Kenya from future editions prompted angry protests from the countries set to be left out.

In a press release from the ICC, Pawar said: “I have given this matter further serious thought and will request the Board to consider this topic once more.

“I can understand the views of the Associates and Affiliates and the ICC will seek to deal with this issue in the best way possible.”

The ICC’s executive board will reconsider the composition of the 2015 tournament during their annual conference in Hong Kong at the end of June.

The restructuring was a strategic decision aimed at making the tournament more compact.

As part of the proposals, the World Twenty20 tournament will be expanded to 16 teams, theoretically ensuring that non Test-playing nations will still benefit from international exposure.

However, the plans prompted an angry reaction from the so-called associate nations, with Cricket Ireland’s chief executive Warren Deutrom describing the move as “frankly outrageous”.

Ireland pulled off one of the shocks of the most recent tournament when they came from behind to beat England by three wickets in a thrilling group-stage encounter.

Irish Sports Minister Leo Varadkar said such matches proved that smaller nations deserved a place at the international cricket’s showpiece event.

“This ‘closed shop’ approach cannot be good for the game, and appears to fly in the face of the sacred values that cricket has espoused for so long – namely fair play, sportsmanship and camaraderie,” he said.

Cricket Kenya chief executive Tom Sears was also critical of the decision.

“I’ve no desire to be diplomatic,” he told The Wisden Cricketer.

“Not to let anyone else in is scandalous. It’s all about money, power and votes – and that’s not good for cricket.”

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