From 2019, ICC is planning to have just 10 teams in the World cup and take the “world” out of the tournament meant to showcase cricket. Such a decision is making the World cup into a extended champions trophy. We cricket fans are targetting ICC reverse this short sighted decision mostly driven be greed.
Since 1996, when ICC expanded WC and we have seen 12-16 teams play, we have had some memorable moments by the associates like Kenya beating a strong West Indies team in 1996, Bangladesh beating Pakistan in 1999 when Bangladesh were still associates, Kenya’s memorable performance in 2003 when they reached semi finals, Ireland beating Pakistan & Bangladesh in 2007 and their thrilling run chase against England in 2011 when they chased down 329 to beat England. Kevin O’Brien playing 1 of the greatest knocks of all-time hitting 113 off 63 balls. And in 2015, Ireland beating West Indies and Zimbabwe. Besides these wins, we have had lot of near misses as well where it always felt like if the associate had a bit of experience, they would have won.
World cup was the biggest stage where associates got exposure to play the big teams, but sadly ICC is taking that away too. We cricket fans want atleast 14 teams in the world cup, although the ideal number we want is 16-20 teams so that cricket crazy countries like Nepal & PNG can play in the cricket world cup too. Top 10 or 12 ranked teams from ODI rankings should qualify directly and the remaining teams coming from qualifiers.
It’s not just us fans, but cricketers like Sachin Tendulkar have asked for as many as 24-25 teams in the world cup, Martin Crowe asked for 18 teams in world cup, Rahul Dravid backed the current format of 14 team world cup. Shane Warne during the all-stars series in 2015 again supported Sachin Tendulkar for expanded world cup.
Sachin Tendulkar – “ICC’s decision to reduce the number of teams in the 2019 World Cup is a backward step in the global expansion of cricket and the lack of consistent matches available to Associate sides is “unfair”.”
Paras Khadka – “For associate teams to develop their game we must play against better teams and at higher lever constantly..The opportunity must be given to more teams so that this game can grow further.We need more teams competing against each other. The world Cup must be played between more countries so that more people have access to this beautiful game.”
Rahul Dravid – “I favour encouraging Associates to play in this tournament and giving them every single opportunity, I just know how important this is for the growth of their game to be seen at a World Cup, the games being telecast Live back home in terms of sponsorship, government funding; its so important for them to be a part of this premier event. I think that’s the least cricket can do, it’s a tournament once in four years to try and encourage as many of them as possible to play. You don’t want an inflated tournament, but I’ve always been of the view that 14 for me was a pretty good number, give everyone a chance.”
Shane Warne – “I want to see as many countries as possible play in a World Cup and I hope fans now watching the Cricket All-Stars tournament might one day turn up one day at the showpiece event and represent America.
We all think it’s a global game and would love everyone to play the game of cricket.”
Martin Crowe – “Without hesitation, the highlight of this global event so far has been the performance and spirit of the champion minnows, those fighting for their lives, for their existence in future World Cups.
All this talk about ten teams for future World Cups is absolute bonkers. If we all, just for a minute, stopped and thought about what the cricket world really needs we would soon realise that by cutting back we are only going to further feather the bulging nest of the Big Three.”
Jason Gillespie – “My personal opinion is that I want to see Associates in the World Cup. If we want to grow the game then it doesn’t make sense to have less teams at the World Cup.
“We need to find a way to get more teams playing and we’ve seen that some of the games with nonTest playing nations have been some of the best of the World Cup.
“The only way these countries will develop their players and become better and potentially push for that Test status is to play more tournaments and play more cricket against the big countries. “It makes no sense to me to reduce the World Cup.”
William Porterfield – “I think something has to be done if they want to grow the game. Everyone wants to know what their vision for the game is, because if they cut the teams in world competitions, why not just have 10 teams playing cricket and every other country in the world doesn’t bother?
“The next World Cup is two or three days longer than this World Cup. So if you’ve got four fewer teams and your competition drags out longer, that’s not an excuse for cutting the number of teams. It’ll be interesting to see what their vision is and what their thoughts are behind the 10-team competition and what value there is for other teams playing outside of the top 10.”