Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
United Arab Emirates head coach Aaqib Javed has slammed the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) decision to decrease the number of teams that will participate in the 2019 World Cup from fourteen to ten.
As a result of this decision, Associate nations are less likely to qualify for the World Cup.
However, the ICC may want to reconsider their decision since several matches featuring Associate nations and Full member countries have been much tighter than expected.
In just over a week since the World Cup started, Ireland beat the West Indies, Scotland gave New Zealand quite a scare and Afghanistan nearly beat Sri Lanka.
“I think the gap is narrowing now and every Associate is pushing the Full Members,” Javed told The National. “I am really surprised by the decision the ICC already made that the next World Cup would be 10 teams.
“Which 10 teams? If you look at the performances from some teams, their graph has been going down, like West Indies, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe. I am not just talking about in this World Cup. Overall, what have they achieved in the past 10 years? Why can’t there be pressure on them to improve, or go down?”
Javed also cannot understand why the ICC doesn’t want to include more teams in the World Cup. By doing this, more fans will attend matches and the sport will become that much more popular all around the world.
“It is very unusual if you compare it to other sports,” Javed said. “Sports need competition and opportunities for every one. What is there for us in Associate cricket? Ireland have been doing so well for the past 10 years, but haven’t gained anything. When it comes to open series, nobody wants to play them. Nobody wants to play Associate teams.”
In order to ensure Associate nations get to play Full Member countries on a regular basis, Javed would like to see the ICC implement two ODI divisions of eight teams, which include promotion and relegation.
“If after two years there was promotion and relegation, how much interest would be created? This is not rocket science,” he said. “Who are the ICC protecting and why are they protecting them? Forget about audience, it is about competition. Once you are a Test nation, you are a Test nation forever, whatever you do. There is no pressure on them.”