A 10 TEAM Cricket World Cup, to me, shows the International Cricket Council (I.C.C.) doesn’t care about the sport’s global participation or audience.
Fourteen countries contested the recent World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, but only 10 will play in the next edition in England in four years time.
Imagine if the next Football World Cup was cutting the number of nations from 32 to 24 at the expense of the non-European and South American teams, or the next Rugby Union World Cup was reducing its participants from 20 to 14. That’s what the Cricket World Cup has in effect done.
Conversely, the Football World Cups could see its qualifiers increase from 32 to 40, and there’s recently been talk of expanding the Rugby Union World Cup in 2023 to 24 teams. And as I’m sure a majority of you will know by now, Euro 2016 will see the number of nations go up from 16 to 24.
The mind boggles that the Cricket World Cup is now just a glorified Champions Trophy.
In my humble opinion the Cricket World Cup should be expanded to 16 teams, the same number of countries that possess full O.D.I. status. If that was the case at the recent World Cup, Hong Kong would have (like Afghanistan) played in their maiden 50-over competition, and Papua New Guinea would have played in their first Cricket World Cup in either format.
|My Cricket World Cup Format
You simply have four groups of four (24 matches) followed by the usual knock-outs bringing the number of games down to 31 from the 49 in 2015. The last Cricket World Cup to have so few games was 1987 (27).
I also have two suggestions to address the problem of fewer games for the ‘smaller’ nations:
- The four third-placed teams would go into their own knock-out competition (the Plate), as would the four fourth-placed teams (the Bowl). Here they play more meaningful and interesting games in a mini-competition on foreign soil that they may actually win. That is if they haven’t advanced to the Quarter-Finals, of course. The Plate and Bowl add just six matches.
- The eight sides eliminated in the group stage disperse around the host country (and its neighbours if possible) to play their own miniseries or List A matches against the host’s First Class sides.
More teams, better contests, a bigger audience, shorter length of time. Simple.
But no. The cricketing establishment don’t want ‘outsiders’ it seems.