To make a dreadful decision once that provokes an outcry of disgust from the people that follow your sport is bad enough.
To do it again having seemingly agreed to review your erroneous decision is not only unforgivable but downright arrogant and stupid.
Everyone agrees that the Cricket World Cup is too long and that the last three editions have had too many meaningless matches.
But getting rid of the Associate nations and depriving them even of the chance to try and qualify for the tournament is not the answer.
It is the decision of a corrupt, out of touch and money grabbing organisation that wants to make the World Cup an exclusive old boys network – if you are not a full member you will be summarily removed and evicted for a minimum of eight years.
As we’ve written before, one of the ICC’s main objectives should be to spread the game of cricket worldwide.
Instead the decision to limit participation in the next World Cup to its 10 full members effectively makes cricket a closed shop.
Some of the most memorable moments in World Cup history have seen David upset Goliath.
Sri Lanka beat India in 1979 and were subsequently awarded Test status. In 1983, Zimbabwe stunned Australia at Trent Bridge. Kenya beat West Indies in 1996 and then triumphed over Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe en route to the semi-final in 2003.
And who can forget Ireland? In the last two tournaments they have beaten Pakistan, Bangladesh and England as well as achieving a tie with Zimbabwe – who they are actually higher than in the ICC’s own ODI rankings.
Of course it was Ireland’s success in 2007 as well as Bangladesh surprising India that has inadvertently caused the ICC to act in this heinous manner.
The ICC was not prepared to tolerate the likes of India and Pakistan being knocked out in the group stages.
It hit them where it hurts grubby administrators most – in the pocket.
Hence the two groups of seven in the recently completed World Cup.
Even if one of the Associates managed to surprise a full member – as Ireland memorably did to England, the chances of them progressing to the quarter-finals were still thin as they would need to beat at least one other full member.
It’s called taking the magic out of the cup.
The ICC should expand the tournament not contract it.
It’s quite simple really. Four groups of four with the top two in each group going through to the quarter-finals.
Not only does it help spread the wonderful game of cricket worldwide, it also produces a shorter tournament with 31 matches instead of the 49 we had this time.
And it means every game matters.
By losing to Ireland, England would probably have been knocked out if they had been in a group of four. And they would have deserved it.
So instead of seeing the story of Irish cricket develop and the probable debut of Afghanistan in the World Cup (and who wouldn't shed a tear if that happened), we will be subjected to a members only dirge.
So, please follow the advice of cricketwithballs and tell the ICC exactly what you think about their shameful decision. You can contact them by email at [email protected] or you via Twitter @cricketicc.
Go on, your World Cup depends upon it.
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