MELBOURNE - Cricket Australia (CA) wants the 2015 World Cup to be contested by the 10 best teams in world cricket, after the ICC's confirmation that a reassessment on the fate of the associate members' participation in the event was on the cards.
Co-hosts Australia will put their point across when the ICC reconsiders the tournament format at its annual conference in Hong Kong in June. "Our starting point on ICC events has always been that qualification should be based on merit," said a Cricket Australia (CA) spokesman.
"We support moving to a 10-team ICC WC and longer term, support moving to ICC World Cups which are 10-team contests based on merit, (like) the top 10-ranked nations in the world. The ICC has discussed reviewing the position on 2015 and we will be an interested participant (both as an ICC member and also as a co-host) in that discussion."
The ICC was roundly criticised by the non-Test-playing nations after its decision to curtail the number of participants in the 2015 edition of the mega-event from 14 to the 10 full members, including strugglers Zimbabwe and Bangladesh.
But, following mounting pressure from the associates, ICC has mulled reconsidering its decision. Suggestions that the absence of associates from the 50-over World Cup could be balanced by expanding the number of teams in the T20 event, too, were met with protests.
CA is of the opinion that Twenty20 can be used to grow the game in developing countries. "James (Sutherland, CA chief executive) has always argued that ICC Events should be assessed in the full context of the ICC World Cup and ICC Twenty20 World Championship," the spokesman was quoted saying.
"In keeping the ICC World Cup tight (which is what fans want), it is on the basis that the ICC Twenty20 can be run as a tight event with, say, the top 16. Twenty20 offers the top 16 an ideal chance to develop, progress, develop international success and profile."