World Cup should be expanded to 25 teams – Tendulkar

"The lesser teams, in each and every World Cup, they always surprise top teams"

“The lesser teams, in each and every World Cup, they always surprise top teams”

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Legendary India batsman Sachin Tendulkar believes that the World Cup should be expanded to accommodate 25 teams.

Tendulkar also noted the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) decision to only have 10 teams in the 2019 World Cup is nothing more than “a backward step”.

“I found out the next World Cup would only be ten teams, which is slightly disappointing because as a cricketer I want the game to be globalised as much as possible and, according to me, this is a backwards step,” Tendulkar said at an exclusive dinner. “We’ve got to find ways of encouraging the lesser teams.”

“The lesser teams, in each and every World Cup, they always surprise top teams. And they can do it on a consistent basis only if they’re given a fair platform to express their talent.

“Right now, they get up after four years on the cricket world’s biggest platform and they’re expected to play and compete with the likes of Australia, South Africa, India, New Zealand, West Indies, Sri Lanka, so many top sides. It’s unfair to them.”

In addition to Tendulkar, the cricket community are also making their voices heard as more than 15,000 people have signed an online petition in protest against the ICC’s decision to reduce the number of teams in the 2019 World Cup.

When asked how Associate members can develop and become stronger, Tendulkar pointed out that they play second-string sides from Full Members nations on a regular basis.

“Why not get Australia A, England A, New Zealand A, South Africa A, New Zealand A, India A, everyone, to go and visit these countries and play them on a regular basis,” Tendulkar said. “And see, not just 14 teams, but how can we get to 25 teams participating in the next World Cup?”

“It is not just about the top six or seven sides. If we are to globalise this game we have to get more and more people excited about cricket and the fan following only follows the result.

“If the results are good then you have more fans, so it’s important that they play good cricket consistently for a longer period, not just one good performance and then suddenly they go underground for four years and then turn up if they do well in those qualifying rounds.

“So I would say it’s something the ICC needs to look into and I hope they look into it.”

Tendulkar also spoke about his concerns for ODI cricket and suggested that the format should consist of two innings of 25 overs each.

“I think Test cricket definitely will survive and T20 is definitely going to survive,” he said. “There is a big question mark over one-day cricket because I think it is getting monotonous. I have sort of casually suggested to the ICC that they need to look at the format. Can we change the format a little bit so that it’s not predictable?

“Right now when it comes to batting from the 15th over onwards to the 35th over you know exactly how the batters are going to bat and that is something that is possibly boring the spectators.

“Can we change that? Can we look to introduce something that is not quite as predictable, which is slightly out of the box?

“I suggested that it be 25 overs and then the other side comes in and they bat 25 overs and then you go back again and bat 25 overs and then you finish the game with 25 overs but in the entire match you have only ten wickets.

“I felt there was a huge disadvantage in certain venues when the sides had to go in second because there is so much dew. Spinners are virtually out of the game and fast bowlers don’t get any movement.

“They’re bowling straight and the batters are thinking, well, where am I going to hit the next boundary? The game doesn’t go ahead like this. We need to find the right balance.”

“It just adds to the excitement, whether you want to lose seven wickets in the first 25 overs and score 270 runs because it’s going to rain later, or have wickets in hand because later on there’s going to be dew and batting’s going to be easy and you can attack the bowlers.”

Tendulkar also revealed that he is still waiting to hear what the ICC have to say about his new ODI vision.

“They haven’t reacted. I’m still waiting,” he said.

Leave a Reply