Bangladesh, Zimbabwe kept the Associates out of World Cup?
Karachi: Bangladesh and Zimbabwe played an influential role in keeping the Associate teams out of the next 2015 World Cup, sources have claimed.
Sources aware of the developments at the ICC meetings in India said that both the lower-placed full members of the ICC had pushed for restricting the next World Cup to just the 10 full member teams.
In the just concluded 2011 World Cup, 14 teams competed, leading to a debate on whether the ICC was reducing the importance of the event by allowing four associate teams.
The contention was that due to the participation of the weaker teams from the Affiliate nations, a lot of one-sided matches were played.
"Basically the format of having a qualification process for four teams to qualify for the World Cup was discussed at the recent meetings and Bangladesh and Zimbabwe were not keen on having a qualification process," one source said.
The source said while the ICC would have given direct entries to the top six or eight teams in the World Cup the remaining four places would have been completed through the qualification process.
"Apparently Bangladesh and Zimbabwe were not comfortable with this situation and supported having a straight 10-team format for the next World Cup and got support of other boards as well on this front," the source added.
But the source said that the format for the 2015 World Cup could still be debated and discussed at future ICC meetings due to growing support for giving associate teams like Ireland, which impressed in the just concluded event.
"This time the ICC officials and even the members of the other boards were so busy with the World Cup knockout matches and functions that the executive board meeting didn`t last long when it was held in Mumbai," the source said.
"Even the future tours program that was to be discussed couldn`t be debated upon at the meeting due to the busy schedule of the board members in the World Cup," he said.
Ireland has vociferously opposed the ICC move to keep out Associate members from the next World Cup while the ICC has talked about having a qualification process for the 2019 edition.