ICC insists on elite CWC

2011-02-18 09:51

Dhaka - The International Cricket Council on Friday backed their decision to restrict the next Cricket World Cup to 10 top teams, saying minnows were better suited playing the Twenty20 format.

ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat said the World Twenty20 will be increased to 16 teams instead of 12, while the 50-over World Cup will be trimmed down to 10 from the current 14.

"We have felt in the past few years that Twenty20 is the best format to develop the game world-wide and it provides a better environment for competition," Lorgat said.

"The 50-over format is more skill-based and suitable for the top teams."

Lorgat's views, ahead of the 50-over World Cup starting on Saturday, is bound to further anger the minnows, who believe they are being muscled out in favour of the Test-playing nations.

Cricket Kenya chief executive Tom Sears said on Thursday the ICC will not be acting in the interests of the game if the smaller teams were locked out of the next World Cup.

"If we have to improve on the standards, there is no point of denying us the opportunity of competing at the top level," Sears said.

"We had a meeting with the other associate countries during the World Cup training camp in Dubai last week, and we plan to raise the matter again at the World Cup.

"We are disturbed about the whole issue," he added.

In an interview with the Wisden Cricketer magazine, Sears termed the decision as "scandalous and bloody ridiculous".

"I've no desire to be diplomatic... Not to let anyone else in is scandalous. It's all about money, power and votes - and that's not good for cricket," he said.

Former Kenyan captain Steve Tikolo and batsman Collins Obuya have also voiced their concern, saying the World Cup remained vital for the development of associate nation cricket.

While there have been some hugely lop-sided contests down the years, there have also been some memorable "giantkillings".

Kenya became the first non-Test playing team to reach the semi-finals in 2003, and Ireland produced their biggest upset over Pakistan in the 2007 tournament in the West Indies.

Ironically, a poll on the ICC’s website showed 73 percent in favour of a 16-team World Cup in 2015 with only nine percent supporting a 10-team competition.

The ICC has already said that it has not been decided which 10 teams will take part in the 2015 World Cup, since the qualifying procedure had yet to be finalised.


  • Suckerz - 2011-02-18 10:29

    That's not Fair at all... Case in point... Sri Lanka... they started out as ranked outsiders and now, they are up there with the best, and even won a World Cup. The Bangladesh + Kenyan + Zim + any team should at least be allowed to qualify... then sparks will fly!

      rpjacquesc - 2011-02-18 10:44

      Agreed, I can actually not help to feel there are to few teams playing in this format for the Cricket World Cup. I think the biggest problem is in the structure. The ICC stated that they changed to two pools only to try and insure all the big teams make it through, isn't a world cup all about drama and big teams bombing out and a team like Ireland kicking ass again? In my opinion if you kill the small teams, you kill the spirit of a world cup.

      stefan.strydom87 - 2011-02-18 11:01

      "+ any team should at least be allowed to qualify" so if I understand that statement correctly, you will be fine with a 10-team world cup as long as everybody (including the test playing nations) has to go through the same qualifying procedure? So then, in theory, zim can qualify for the world cup and aus can miss out. Seems fair to me, everybody gets a chance to qualify, but the tournament is an elite competition. As it is now the group stages are so bloody boring, I quote Allan Border: "the top teams will have to play like absolute drongos not to reach the quarter-finals."

  • Hannes - 2011-02-18 10:58

    World Cups are really watered down with the inclusion of the minnows. What happens is that the group stage, which is a month long, sees all the games against the minnows where they are mostly beaten hands down. The bigger teams then go through and the best team is decided based on winning three games in a row. Surely the World Cup is not the stage for minnows to gain experience, it should be done between World Cups with series against the bigger teams, but this doesn't happen. Surely in a World Cup you would like the top 10 teams to play against each other at least once and each game should be closely contested with quality cricket being played. What also happens is that a game against minnows are rained out for example, and a bigger team is being put to a disadvantage by sharing points for a game they would have defintely won. The group stage is boring because we know which teams will advance, with the exception here and there.

  • terry - 2011-02-18 11:48

    Surely there is a compromise - have a 'B-Section' world cup for the 2nd tier teams, and the top 2 teams from that tournament would then go through to the main World cup tournament to make 12 teams. This way, all of the 2nd tier teams would feel they have an opportunity to get into the main World Cup, without watering it down.

  • Valis - 2011-02-18 12:55

    "The 50-over format is more skill-based" Thank you for finally admitting that Twenty20 isn't real cricket!

  • jay - 2011-02-18 13:11

    Why not have a pre-qualification similar to SWC in 4 - 6 groups. The top 2 teams of each goup qualify and the others have another chance by another losers group qualification. Top two go through. That format ensures every country is exposed to playing top level teams. The format of the Cup itself should be changed. The group stage is too long and the results are fairly predictable.

  • Mike@CapeT - 2011-02-20 08:36

    When you see what is happening with Kenya today (Sunday), can you blame the ICC!? Perhaps what is needed is for the top 2 minnows at a '20/20' world cup qualifying for a 12 nation 'one day' world cup.

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