page contents

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

ICC determined to make 10-team World Cup in 2019

Since the day ICC revealed their wish for curtailing the number of teams participating from 14 to 10 in World Cup, there has been loads of criticism over the issue. Some cricket legends even termed this as a ‘backward step’ on the way to globalizing the game and ‘unfair move’ for the associate nations.
The performance of the associate nations during the World Cup was also quite impressive which was supposed to affect on ICC’s stepping aside from this controversial decision. But the head of the International Cricket Council, Mr. Dave Richardson informed on Thursday that the world governing body is unlikely to change its plans to reduce the number of teams at the next World Cup despite being impressed by the performances of the associate nations during the current tournament.
“I still would like to keep that debate for another day,” said Richardson, a former South Africa test wicketkeeper. “I think the board will discuss that at their meetings in April. The decision has been made, as we stand it’s a 10-team tournament at the next World Cup.
“To me the debate should be more about what are we doing for Associate member cricket to enable them to qualify for a World Cup, whether it’s an eight-team, 10-team, 12-team 14 or 16-team. I think that’s where we’ve made the most progress,” Richardson told reporters at the Sydney Cricket Ground during the World Cup semi-final between Australia and India.”
Mr. Richardson said that they even had suggestions for applying the new strategy from this very World Cup which is currently being held in Australia and New Zealand and will sign off this weekend when the co-hosts will set horns between themselves in the grand finale of the tournament at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground
“There was even a suggestion we should have moved to a 10 team event for this tournament. The reason we didn’t is because at that stage we had a glass ceiling.
“You could be Ireland or Afghanistan and you could get to number 11 in the world, you couldn’t get to number ten and you could never really qualify.
“So now we’ve changed that, we’ve allowed Ireland and Afghanistan the opportunity to play in the ODI (one-day international) FTP (Future Tours Programme) — sure the challenge is going to be be finding them enough fixtures and that’s a real focus we are going to be worrying about over the next couple of years so it’s not just in name that they are part of that FTP, that they really have the fixtures,” the former South Africa wicket-keeper added.
“I don’t think it’s the end of the world (going to 10 teams), especially now we’ve broken that glass ceiling for the Associates.
“We want the World Cup to not just be a window-dressing but a shop window for cricket at the highest level. Maybe only 10 (teams) initially, but the idea is to grow it.”
Richardson said the ICC still had ambitions of spreading the game to new frontiers, such as the United States but the priority for now was consolidating their existing teams.
“Now we realise, let’s not spread ourselves our too thin, we’ve got full member countries, Zimbabwe being one, West Indies maybe, where we’ve got to be careful that they don’t fall off the ship,” he said.
“USA, as an example, is a country that has enormous potential. It has more players playing cricket in the USA than Zimbabwe and I.think very close to the number playing in New Zealand. If UAE can qualify for the World Cup then there’s no reason why USA shouldn’t. So that’s going to be a focus for us in the next few years.”
Mr. Richardson was also questioned introducing the fact that the current on field cricket rules are not seemingly helpful at all for the bowlers and are entirely in favour of the batsmen, so if ICC have any plan regarding this criteria to bring out something new which could do some favour for the poor bowlers as well. Then he shared some of their plans on considering new rules for bowlers in ODIs.
“In the old days you had one area you couldn’t defend, now there’s two and if a good batsmen is set as a bowler you’ve got very little.prize (for the bowlers),” Richardson said.
“One of the things we might look at is allowing an extra fielder out of the ring in the last 10 overs, remember we were worried about.that middle period of the game that became boring where someone would score a run a ball 50 but no one remembering one shot.
“We’ll try and keep that and make sure we don’t get back to that but maybe in the last 10 overs when people are not going to stop slogging or trying to hit boundaries just because one extra fielder is out. That might be a sensible change.”