Hong Kong, June 28: In a major turn-around, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has today decided that the World Cup 2015 in Australia and New Zealand will include 14 teams, same as the number that participated in the global event this year. The announcement comes on the back of widespread disapproval among the associate cricket countries of the ICC's initial proposal to restrict the World Cup to just the 10 Test-playing nations.
The England and Wales Cricket Board as well as Cricket Australia were dead against non-Test playing countries to be given passage to the next World Cup as they contended that such an arrangement would detract from the competitiveness of the tournament and adversely affect the momentum of the major nations. But it seems like both boards were outvoted on the issue as anyway they have been stripped of their vetoing powers.
Ireland, which emerged the most successful minnows nation in the last edition of the big event, with two wins including a stunning 3-wicket defeat of England, has been the most vociferous proponent for the cause of the small boys and will no doubt, welcome the news.
However, there is no telling yet whether the four spots for minnows teams will be decided by a World Cup qualifying tournament. The ICC was expected to mull the possibility of such an event. Meanwhile, ICC President Sharad Pawar has requested the ICC Executive Board to reconsider their decision.