ICC Perform U-Turn on Controversial World Cup Plans

June 29, 2011

Cricket minnows will be allowed to participate in future editions of the Cricket World Cup after the International Cricket Council (ICC) performed a U-turn on its controversial plans to reduce the size of the tournament from 14 teams to 10. The U-turn means four non-Test playing nations can qualify to participate in the next tournament.

The ICC had originally planned to reduce the number of participants to 10 “full member” nations, excluding “associates” such as Ireland, the Netherlands, Canada and Kenya, which all took part in the 14-team Cricket World Cup earlier this year, which was criticised for being too long, running from February 19 to April 2, prompting the original decision to reduce participants to 10. The ICC agreed to review its proposal after complaints from the lower-ranked nations.

The ICC, after its annual conference in Hong Kong, confirmed that four associate members will now take part in the tournament after a qualifying process.

A statement from the world’s top cricket body said: “The ICC executive board today reversed its previous decisions and approved a 14-team format for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 to be held in Australia and New Zealand and a 12-team format for the ICC World Twenty20 events in 2012 (Sri Lanka) and 2014 (Bangladesh).”

The ICC also announced the 2019 World Cup would be a 10-team event, with the top eight places going to the top-ranked teams and two berths being awarded in a pre-qualifying tournament.

Cricket Ireland CEO Warren Deutrom said: “I suppose the immediate reaction is one of relief, and that we can all now divert our energies in the significantly more proactive pursuit of trying to qualify.”

The board also approved a recommendation made by its chief executives’ committee on Monday to make the controversial Umpire Decision Review System (DRS) mandatory in all Tests and one-day matches. Hot Spot, the “thermal imaging” technology now available and made mandatory in the DRS, will mostly be used for close catches and edges.