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ICC decision will be unfair: Sears

cricket Updated: Feb 17, 2011 23:11 IST

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Cricket Kenya chief executive Tom Sears said on Thursday the International Cricket Council (ICC) will not be acting in the interests of the game if the Associates were locked out of the next World Cup.

While a final decision has not yet been reached, Sears said the Associate or second-tier sides, including Kenya, will strongly contest being frozen out when the ICC decides to slim down the existing 14-team tournament to a 10-team contest in 2015.

"If we have to improve on the standards, there is no point of denying us the opportunity of competing at the top level," Sears told AFP before boarding his flight for India, to attend the opening ceremonies of the 2011 World Cup, starting in the sub-continent on February 19.

"We had a meeting with the other associate countries during the World Cup training camp in Dubai last week, and we plan to raise the matter again at the World Cup. We feel much disturbed about the whole issue," he added.

And in another interview with the Wisden Cricketer magazine which will be released Friday, Sears termed the decision as "scandalous and bloody ridiculous".

"I've no desire to be diplomatic... Not to let anyone else in is scandalous. It's all about money, power and votes - and that's not good for cricket," he said in the interview recorded in December.

Former Kenyan captain Steve Tikolo and batsman Collins Obuya have also voiced their concern, saying the World Cup remained vital for the development of associate nation cricket.

While there have been some hugely lopsided contests down the years, there have also been some memorable "giantkillings".

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.