The International Cricket Council's proposal to trim the next World Cup to 10 teams is a step "backward", Zimbabwe batting coach Grant Flower said.
"I don't agree with that," Flower said of the decision.
"I think these (smaller) nations need exposure to develop. Obviously, there are pros and cons for that decision. If it does happen I see it as things going backward and not forward."
ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat said on Friday the World Twenty20 would be increased to 16 teams instead of 12, while the 50-over World Cup would be cut to 10.
A total of 14 teams are involved in the 2011 World Cup -- 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.
"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."