Associate nations such as Ireland and Netherlands may not be dumped out of 2015 cricket World Cup with the ICC Chief Executives' Committee (CEC) on Monday recommending that there should be a qualifying tournament for participation in the elite event.
The ICC in April had decided to restrict the 2015 World Cup to top 10 nations only, much to the dismay the associate nations who strongly protested the decision.
The decision to put a cap on the teams had come due to criticism of the tournament's lenghty format.The CEC stopped short of putting a seal on the number of teams for the tournament but the decision raised hopes of teams like Netherlands, Ireland, Canada and Kenya to feature in the 2015 edition of the event to be held in Australia and New Zealand.
"The CEC recommended that there should be a qualification process for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 but did not make a recommendation to the ICC Executive Board on the number of teams that should compete in the event to be held in Australia and New Zealand," ICC said in a statement.
ICC president Sharad Pawar has taken up the cause of the minnows by asking its Board to reconsider the decision.
In other key decisions, the CEC decided that a captain will now be suspended for two over-rate breaches in a 12-month period in any one format of the game rather than the current position which is three breaches prior to suspension.
"The CEC, like the ICC Cricket Committee, was concerned at the slow over-rates in Test match cricket and agreed on stricter sanctions against captains for over-rate breaches," the statement said.