Scotland’s rare sunny moment against England, ‘real’ challenges of Associates and an ideal World Cup
How many teams should ideally play in a World Cup? How can Test-playing Nations aid Associate Nations?
September 30, 2017 was the qualification date for teams. Whoever finished in the top eight ODI rankings earned World Cup berths. The date is 20 months prior to the start of the tournament.
How have the teams fared since?
(ODI summary for teams from Oct 1, 2017 to June 18, 2018)
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Ireland, Scotland, Zimbabwe and Hong Kong haven t qualified for World Cup. Defending champions Australia have the poorest win-loss ratio. Maybe there s a fair argument here. Maybe the best 10 sides at the moment aren t playing the World Cup.
FIFA World Cup defending champion Germany started from scratch in the 2018 edition and went through the rigours of qualifiers in bid to their title defence in Russia. So did the five-time World Champions Brazil. Four-time World Champions Italy didn t qualify for the World Cup; neither did Netherlands, runners-up in 2010 and third in 2014.
Arjen Robben, one of the finest footballers in the planet, is missing the World Cup.
Were the big teams challenged enough to earn a World Cup spot? West Indies had to be terrible enough to go through the qualifier process.
How about scheduling the 2023 10-team World Cup with only the hosts and top two sides gaining direct qualification for the tournament? That way ICC can incentivise the best performers till the start of 2022 by allowing the top two sides.
For example, if this was employed for 2019 edition, only England (hosts), South Africa (No. 1 ODI side at end of September 2017) and India (No. 2 at the same point) would have secured direct qualification. On the other hand, Australia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, New Zealand and Bangladesh would have joined the other nations for Qualifiers.
There lies ICC s chance to create another tournament of utmost significance, interest and revenues. It presents a fair opportunity to all. An ideal cricket World Cup isn t rocket science.
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