ICC reignites smaller World Cup row

International cricket chief Haroon Lorgat Friday stuck to his pledge to cut the World Cup to just 10 teams.

New Delhi: Feb 19, 2011 

 

By John Weaver

International cricket chief Haroon Lorgat Friday stuck to his pledge to cut the World Cup to just 10 teams, reigniting a row with smaller nations who fear for their future if excluded. Lorgat’s comments came just a day before the 10th edition of the World Cup kicks off in Dhaka with a clash between Bangladesh and India, joint hosts of the event along with Sri Lanka.

A total of 14 teams are involved in the showpiece event — tipped to be the most open in years — including the Netherlands, Ireland, Kenya and Canada but the ICC wants to cut the numbers because it has grown too unwieldy.

ICC chief executive Lorgat said the World Twenty20 would be increased to 16 teams from 12, while the 50-over World Cup would be trimmed to 10.

 

“We have felt in the past few years that Twenty20 is the best format to develop the game worldwide and it provides a better environment for competition,” Lorgat said. “The 50-over format is more skill-based and suitable for the top teams.”

Cricket Kenya chief executive Tom Sears said on Thursday the ICC would not be acting in the interests of the game if the smaller teams were locked out of the next World Cup and Canada Friday also voiced concerns.

Kenya became the first non-Test playing team to reach the semi-finals in 2003, and Ireland produced their biggest upset over Pakistan in the 2007 tournament in the West Indies.

 

Tim May, the chief executive of the Federation of International Cricketers’ Associations, was bemused by Lorgat’s reported comments that security was a “non-issue”. “I have spoken to Haroon, so as to gain an understanding of the context of his comments, and remain confident that the ICC shares FICA’s concerns regarding the importance of security measures at the World Cup,” said May.

 

May confirmed that FICA’s security consultants had recently concluded a review of the security arrangements and found the proposed arrangements to be sound.

 

© AFP