Brisbane: UAE coach Aaqib Javed, a member of Pakistan's 1992 World Cup-winning team, has criticised the ICC's plan to reduce the number of teams in next World Cup from 14 to 10, and questioned the downward spiral of full members like the West Indies and Bangladesh in recent years.
The 2019 World Cup in England is expected to feature the eight top-ranked nations along with two other teams who will come through a qualifying tournament in Bangladesh.
"I think the gap is narrowing now and every Associate is pushing the Full Members. I am really surprised by the decision the ICC already made that the next World Cup would be 10 teams," Javed was quoted as saying by 'National'.
The 42-year-old former Pakistan pacer added, "Which 10 teams? If you look at the performances from some teams, their graph has been going down, like West Indies, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe. I am not just talking about in this World Cup.
Overall, what have they achieved in the past 10 years? Why can't there be pressure on them to improve, or go down?"
Javed, who would normally bowl first or second change for Pakistan in the early and mid 1990s, has taken 182 wickets in 163 ODIs and 54 in 22 Tests.
"It is very unusual if you compare it to other sports.
Sports need competition and opportunities for every one. What is there for us in Associate cricket? Ireland have been doing so well for the past 10 years, but haven't gained anything.
When it comes to open series, nobody wants to play them.
Nobody wants to play Associate teams.
"If after two years there was promotion and relegation, how much interest would be created? This is not rocket science.
"Who are the ICC protecting and why are they protecting them? Forget about audience, it is about competition. Once you are a Test nation, you are a Test nation forever, whatever you do. There is no pressure on them."
The ongoing tournament features four Associate nations in UAE, Ireland, Afghanistan and Scotland.