Ehsan Mani Reckons Reducing the Number of Teams in the World Cup is a 'Hypocritical Decision'

Published - 07 Jun 2018, 04:49 PM | Updated - 09 Jan 2019, 06:55 PM

Ehsan Mani
(Photo By Cody Glenn/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Former President of the International Cricket Council (ICC), Ehsan Mani has lashed out at the Governing body. ICC had reduced the number of teams to ten for the next year’s 50-over World Cup which will be held in England.

Mani believes that limiting the number of teams to ten, is not in the best interest of the game.

On one hand, ICC aims to promote the game worldwide. However, on the other, the governing body took this peculiar decision to cut out on the number of teams in the coveted tournament.

ICC
Ireland could make their way into next year ODI World Cup. Credits: Getty Images.

ICC needs to review its strategies to promote the game:

Recently, the 2018 World Cup Qualifiers were held in Zimbabwe which snatched the well-deserving opportunity from the hosts.

Furthermore, deserving countries like Ireland and Scotland had to also miss out on their place.

“It was done for financial reasons and it stems back to when India got knocked out early at the 2007 World Cup and broadcasters wanted more Indian matches,” Mani told Cricbuzz.

Ehsan Mani reiterated it has been a harsh decision by the world Board regarding the number of teams for the mega event.

“It is a hypocritical decision and it’s not acting in the best interests of the game. The World Cup should be a celebration of the sport and it is a disgraceful decision. It is very disappointing that the ICC didn’t revisit the decision”.

Scotland,
Scotland players. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

It was a bizarre decision taken by the ICC – to prune the number of teams.

Moreover, we have noticed that other sports like Football and Hockey are trying to increase the number of teams in the World Cup Tournament. However, ICC is veering off the track.

“Football, basketball and rugby are increasing the number of teams at World Cups. Cricket has always been an elitist sport and this is another example of that. It has to be an inclusive sport to bring countries like Afghanistan, Scotland and Ireland into events like the World Cup,” Mani added.

Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe players. Credits: Getty Images.

Football popularity grew in the United States of Africa after the mega event took place in the country in 1994.

Similarly, Mani believes ICC should consider hosting its major event in countries like China and USA.

Australia, India and England should contribute in preserving the game.

“We saw football grow markedly in the USA after the World Cup was held there in 1994. Cricket should look at a World Cup or World T20 being held in the USA or China down the track. They are huge markets and it would be a worthy investment in the sport.”

Ehsan Mani went on to add that cricketing giant like England, Australia and India have a lot of work up their sleeve. The cricket board of these countries will have to give their best.

“A lot of the right noises are being made but I just hope the voice of the Associates is heard at the ICC board level. Australia, England and India, in particular, have a huge responsibility to promote the game,” Mani concluded.

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