The 2015 Cricket World Cup will feature the 10 Test-playing nations plus four associate teams, the International Cricket Council (ICC) said on Tuesday 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 The 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. — Reuters