MUMBAI, India, CMC – Only 10 teams will contest the next two World Cups, after the International Cricket Council confirmed yesterday it had cut the quota for the cricket’s largest showpiece.
This follows criticism that the recent tournaments, held in the West Indies and India, were protracted and comprised too many poor quality sides.
The recent World Cup which finished on Saturday saw 14 teams competing while the 2007 showpiece featured 16.
“We haven’t quite started on designing the format,” ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat said.
“I seem to recall that in 1992 it was a 10-team event so there is a chance that we might replicate that. That is work that will commence perhaps not long from [Monday].”
Under the new format, the 10 full-member sides will contest the next tournament scheduled to be jointly hosted by Australia and New Zealand.
The 10 spots available for the 2019 tournament, scheduled for England, will be determined on a qualification basis.
While the decision axes Associate member nations like the Netherlands, Canada and Kenya who have struggled at the last two World Cups, it will come as a huge disappointment for Ireland.
The side, coached by former West Indies all-rounder Phil Simmons, upset England in the just concluded tournament, though they eventually finished one from bottom in Group B.
In the World Cup in the Caribbean four years ago, they upset Pakistan and tied with Zimbabwe to reach the Super Eights.
None of the Associate members teams were fortunate enough to qualify for the second stage of the tournament this time around as the top eight full-member sides progressed.