‘I’m sure the format of the next World Cup will be debated after this one has finished’, says David Richardson

"I've learnt never to say never to anything"

“I’ve learnt never to say never to anything”

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

International Cricket Council (ICC) chief executive David Richardson has announced that “the format of the next World Cup will be debated after this one has finished”.

The ICC has come under heavy criticism from numerous cricketers after they decided that the 2019 World would only feature 10 teams instead of 14.

“I’ve learnt never to say never to anything,” Richardson told AFP. “I’m sure the format of the next World Cup will be debated after this one has finished.

“I’m pleased with the performances of the qualifiers so far, but the bigger tests are still to come.

“The question is what do you want the World Cup to be? Do you want it to be a jamboree of world cricket or the pinnacle of the one-day game?

“Heading into this tournament there was criticism that the format (where 14 teams are split into two groups of seven, with the top four in each pool qualifying for the quarter-finals) would leave us with a long group stage, at the end of which the eight teams everyone thought would get through had made it into the quarter-finals.

“The best format was 1992. You had nine teams, then the semi-finals. There was something up for grabs in every match.”

When asked what he thought about the performance of Afghanistan, Ireland, Scotland and the United Arab Emirates, Richardson said: “There’s a sense of relief. Our biggest concern before the tournament was that these teams would be uncompetitive.”

Richardson also doesn’t believe that the 2019 World Cup will only feature Test playing nations.

“We didn’t want to go to 10 nations without providing a pathway where you could have the leading associates and the lower-ranked Test nations scrapping it out,” he said. “All will have an opportunity to qualify.

“It’s a good point about the rankings. We are working with the full (Test) members to make sure they play as much as possible against the Associates.¬†We are looking at upwards of six ODIs each year for the Associates, although some of these may be against each other. But the fixture schedule is congested.”

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