New Delhi: ICC CEO Haroon Lorgat has said that it has been decided unanimously to do away with the 10-team format for the 2015 World Cup after 10 Full Members expressed their unwillingness to go through a qualification system.
Stating that Australia, New Zealand and England had initially agreed to a 10-team format with qualification but strong protests from the Associates forced the ICC to scrap the idea for the next edition, Lorgat said, "The main objection was that a 10-team event required Full Members to qualify.”
"Their belief was that there was a long-standing expectation that Full Members automatically play in the World Cup and therefore needed sufficient notice before we can change this practice. This is why the 10-team World Cup will start from 2019," he told a website.
Before ICC`s annual conference in Hong Kong in June, it was agreed at a meeting in April to stick to 10 teams in the 2015 mega-event but at the conference, the cricket governing body`s members complied to a 14-team tournament, preceded by a qualifying league for the Associate teams.
Lorgat, however, stressed that a 10-team World Cup would be a better tournament.
"I still believe that a 10-team World Cup on a qualification basis for all members would be a better event. This was part of the proposals to strategically restructure international cricket and was designed to protect and promote all three formats," he insisted.
Two days after the final of the 2011 World Cup, the ICC board announced that the 2015 tournament would include the ten full members with qualification coming into play only in 2019.
But following criticism from the cricket world and a request by the Associates, the ICC said that it would "revisit" the decision to shut the Associates out of the 2015 event.