Inzamam favours more exposure for emerging nations

Published: Saturday, July 2, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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Karachi:Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq favoured more international exposure for emerging cricket nations while expressing his reservations on the format of 2006 Champions Trophy.

"I think the emerging nations deserve more exposure so that they can narrow the gap between the top teams. But I fear that with the format of the 2006 Champions Trophy, that gap will be widened," Inzamam said.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) announced earlier this week that next year's Champions Trophy, to be staged in India, would be competed by top eight teams of the world.

The top six teams as on April 1, 2006, will get direct entry while the remaining four Test playing teams will participate in a pre-tournament qualifier and the top two sides will complete the fray.

"The 2007 World Cup will be competed by 16 teams. I think we should provide maximum opportunity (before the event in the West Indies) to the younger teams so that they can have a feel of international and top grade cricket.

"I think by restricting the Champions Trophy to eight teams, we are probably denying among others Bangladesh and Zimbabwe the right to prepare themselves for the World Cup," Inzamam said.

Bangladesh and Zimbabwe are currently ranked ninth and 10th in ICC rankings and barring a miracle, they are unlikely to make huge improvements in their rankings by April 1, 2006 cut-off date.

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