2015 cricket World Cup to feature 14 teams

HONG KONG, (Reuters) – The 2015 World Cup will feature the 10 test-playing nations plus four associate teams,  the International Cricket Council (ICC) said today after  reversing a decision to cut the tournament to 10 teams.
Cricket’s governing body had initially decided to restrict  the 50-over tournament, to be co-hosted by Australia and New  Zealand, to its 10 full members.
“The ICC Executive Board opted to retain the 14-team format  that was used at the highly successful and universally acclaimed  ICC Cricket World Cup 2011,” the governing body said in a  statement.
The move to make it a 10-team tournament triggered protests  from Associate teams Ireland and Netherlands.
ICC President Sharad Pawar subsequently asked the executive  board to review the decision in the annual conference.
Cricket Ireland chief executive Warren Deutrom hailed the  about turn.
“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,” Deutrom told  Reuters.
“All we have now is the opportunity to qualify so we still  have a lot of hard yards to run through.
“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.

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