The Associate Nations have been dealt a massive blow after the International Cricket Council on Monday confirmed that the next two World Cups will feature just 10 teams.
The recently completed tournament on the sub-continent included 14 sides, but the ICC executive board had previously indicated – back in October – their intention to cut four teams for the 2015 and 2019 competitions.
That announcement was met with strong opposition from the Associate Nations, who felt that their exclusion from the world’s showpiece tournament would be to the detriment of development.
While Canada, Kenya and the Netherlands failed to impress at the 2011 edition, Ireland made a major case for their continued participation with a string of impressive performances, including a three-wicket win over England.
The ICC’s executive board met again for a scheduled meeting on Monday in Mumbai to discuss the possibility of a 12-team tournament in the future. Instead, however, the board decided to revert back to their initial decision made in October, with the World Cup 2015 in Australia and New Zealand and the World Cup in England in 2019 both set to feature just 10 teams.
In addition only full-member nations will be invited to the next World Cup, with a qualification process opened for the 2019 tournament.
An official ICC statement after the meeting read: “The executive board confirmed their previous decision made last October that the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 in Australia and New Zealand and the ICC Cricket World Cup in England in 2019 will be a 10-team event.
“The board agreed that the 2015 World Cup will comprise the existing 10 full members, however they gave notice to all full members that participation in the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup will be determined on the basis of qualification.
“It was also agreed that post the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 there will be promotion and relegation introduced in the ODI League.”
The ICC also declared the 2011 event “an outstanding financial success” and congratulated India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh for their roles as hosts.
ICC president Sharad Pawar added: “The tournament reinforced the attraction of 50-over cricket and showed the enthusiasm and excitement generated by nation-versus-nation cricket.
“There is no doubt that this event has been a great advertisement for ODI cricket. I would like to congratulate both the Indian team and the Sri Lankan team for a befitting final match at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai, which was played in the best of spirits and provided great entertainment to millions following the game the world over.”
It was also agreed by the board that US$1 million would be donated to New Zealand Cricket after their offices in Christchurch were badly damaged after the earthquake which hit the city in February.
It was also confirmed that the anti-corrupution unit set up by the ICC would be reviewed after a year in operation.
The ICC statement continued: “An internationally renowned company has been appointed to review the operations of the ICC Anti Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) as part of the learnings following the Pakistan spot-fixing allegations. Sir Ronnie Flanagan, the ACSU chairman, reported that the initial recommendations following this review will be presented to the board in June.” Cricket365