After 13 days and 20 matches in the World Cup, there have been no major upsets baring Ireland has defeated England in a world cup record chase and world cup’s fastest century and hope that there is still hopes for more upsets.
But in general, the top teams have, rather predictably, either piled up huge scores or taken quick wickets in comfortable wins against the Associates. On batting-friendly pitches in the subcontinent, high scores and run-rates were always expected to be the norm, but the starts haven’t always been as explosive as expected, and spinners haven’t been all that effective. Out of 20 matches so far, 14 have been decided by a margin of more than 75 runs, or by seven or more wickets with more than 40 balls to spare. In four games, the margin was 175 runs or more, and in two others, the team chasing won with more than 30 overs to spare.
This raises the discussion does this cricket world cup requires associate teams playing or is ICC right in throwing minnows out of next world cup?
World cup may not require associate teams playing and choose alternatives for them to get exposure
One argument is the associate teams need to show consistently that they deserve the opportunities, look wt happened to Kenya, Zimbabwe. It took 15 years for SRILANKA to come to top spot, Bangladesh is the team who lost 29 ODIs consecutively, so one win here and there don’t deserve them to be in WC, may be ICC need to think a WC for associate teams and then ask the best 2 teams to be part in the actual WC, that makes the things interesting, not all Associate teams in WC.
Also the problem is when SL and Bangladesh came into centre stage, not many associate teams available and hence they got more opportunities at bigger level. Today, u have more and more associate teams and putting everybody into main WC centre stage only to drag the WC for months and baring one here and there a good match like ENG VS Ireland, most matches r one-sided and most of the times boring. There r no free meals in life and they need to learn in it in a hard way.
Can’t help by putting 20 teams in a cup like WC. got to believe, it has to be the best of bests that need to come in to the final WC, u need 4 or 2 associate teams, it’s up to ICC, but today, the transformation from an associate team to a Qualifying team is very much disappointed, barring SL who also took 15 years, No other associate team was able to prove that they deserves that transformation, so people wouldn’t to be so excited by these teams so early. Exposure doesn’t come by just playing in the WC straightaway.
World Cup requires Associate teams, but limit the associate teams to certain number?
Another Argument is not most of the matches are one-sided and we will have to remember 2003 and 2007 where Kenya made it to the Semis which was not a fluke and Bangladesh and Ireland making to Super six stage which is not a fluke either, so we need their presence. Also taking this world cup into account Netherlands almost won over England and Ireland already showed that they are not to be taken for granted, so which leaves us with Kenya and Canada (seeing that Zim are full members of ICC and qualify automatically).
If one look at the number of one-day games these teams got to play with the full members of ICC (which is a big 0), how do they get exposure as they are not included in future tour programs and they keep on playing at associate level. Most think having 4 associate teams in a world cup is totally justified and necessary to make Cricket a global sport rather than a Commonwealth sport. That is the whole reason ICC has a qualifying tournament for selecting associates to the cup!! Consistency is something that is achieved through more exposure for these teams… yes it took 15 years for SL to be considered favorites but they had their share off opportunities.. Most think ICC should help these countries to raise cricket infrastructure and also provide exposure through a stage like World Cup. If these countries are not included into FULL TIME PLAYING and have not chance to play against full test nations then what is wrong in including them into World Cup as even FIFA world cup allows qualifiers to compete in world cups?
This debate will go on and both sides have a strong point. The schedules and who plays with who depends on the respective Boards and not with the ICC. ICC can only suggest fair plays. So if the Associates r not getting chances to play with FULL TIME PLAYING nations, it’s the problem with boards because commercial angle is there. Who will come to C a test match between IND and IRELAND and a ODI other than WC match between AUS and KENYA? So the solution, A teams and B teams need to play with these Associate teams. This has double side benefits, emerging players in FULL TIME PLAYING nations and Associate teams, both get exposures.
ICC’s decision not to allow associate teams in the next World Cup may not have a logic in it, but after this WC, they need to review the FULL TIME PLAYING nation status to KENYA and Zim. The way they r playing, they don’t deserve that status.
I wouldn’t be surprised if arguments will arise that we don’t need West Indies, New Zealand, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe in the FULL TIME PLAYING nations list by looking at the way they are playing in the last 5 years. WI and New Zealand are not consistent and very much looked below par in the recent times; while Bangladesh shows glimpses of hope of improvement here and there, but mostly it’s not so impressive and Zimbabwe is completely pathetic.
So the best possible solution is between the two world cups which is a period of 4 years , there has to be a continuous system where the bottom 4 FULL TIME PLAYING nations need to change based on the performance in the WC, u don’t deserve to be a FULL TIME PLAYING nation if there r others who are deserving. 🙂 Like take that status away from Kenya and Zim (they r pathetic in the last 4 years and even in this WC) and give to the next 2 best nations, may be to IRELAND and CANADA, those comes best next to FULL TIME PLAYING nations in this WC.
ICC has a big job in hand, but is it ready to do it; it’s a big Question Mark? 🙂