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The International Cricket Council on Tuesday retained the 14-team format for the 2015 World Cup, succumbing to the pressure from non-Test playing nations who will have four representatives in the elite 50-overs tournament.cricket Updated: Jun 28, 2011 23:35 IST
The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Tuesday retained the 14-team format for the 2015 World Cup, succumbing to the pressure from non-Test playing nations who will have four representatives in the elite 50-overs tournament.
"The ICC executive board today reversed its earlier decision and approved a 14-team format for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 and a 12-team format for the ICC World Twenty20 events in 2012 (Sri Lanka) and 2014 (Bangladesh)," the governing body said in a statement.
In addition, the board confirmed that the World Cup in 2019 would be a 10-team event with the top eight in the ODI rankings earning their qualification automatically, and the remaining two slots being decided by a qualification competition.
The ICC had decided in April to restrict the 2015 tournament, to be co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand, to 10 full members.
The move triggered protests from associate teams, most notably from Ireland, who had stunned England in a Bangalore run-fest to bring alive the 2011 World Cup hosted jointly by India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
The growing resentment prompted ICC president Sharad Pawar to ask the executive board to review the decision and the U-turn was welcomed by Cricket Ireland chief executive Warren Deutrom.
"The initial reaction is probably just one of relief to be honest with you, relief that we now have the opportunity to qualify for the World Cup and relief that we can now devote our energy to actually trying to qualify for it," said Deutrom.
"From the moment the decision was announced, a significant portion of the game's stakeholders said they felt the decision was completely wrong. There was such a massive weight of opinion, it would have been frankly a surprise if it hadn't been changed."
"That doesn't necessarily lessen the kudos that should go to the board for actually reversing the decision... I suppose it's a moment where it (the ICC) is not necessarily embracing its principles but re-embracing its principles."
The idea behind reducing the number of teams was based on the successful 1992 World Cup format, also hosted by Australia and New Zealand.
In the 10-team event all teams played each other once, and it's thought to be more television-friendly.