Sydney: Cricket Australia Chief Executive James Sutherland has defended moves to condense the 2015 50-over World Cup.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) has decided to cut the number of teams in the 50-over World Cup from 14 to 10, causing outrage among the developing nations.
It came after an ICC committee made the recommendation, believed to be an admission that the 2011 World Cup format has too many uncompetitive matches in the opening rounds.
The committee said that it wanted cricket’s “minnows” to compete against established teams in Twenty20 instead of one-day cricket.
It had also recommended that the next Twenty20 World Cup, scheduled for 2012, should be expanded to include 16 nations.
“There’s ultimately a balancing act here, in a broad sense,” the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Sutherland, as saying.
“It’s very easy for someone to be critical in isolation of one decision, and there is merit either way of having a World Cup event with more or less teams, but I think on balance the opportunity that flows from more teams being able to play in the Twenty20 event is a real positive for the game.”
“Personally, I see Twenty20 as being the opportunity for developing nations, associates and affiliate countries to really focus on the contribution they can make at a high-performance elite level,” he added.
On current rankings, nations including Canada, Ireland, Kenya and the Netherlands would struggle to qualify for the 2015 World Cup, which will be jointly hosted by Australia and New Zealand.