I have to say that some things that happen in the world of sport disappoint me, but don’t surprise me.
Today that was all surpassed by ICC’s decision to kick the Associate Nations out of the 2015 (50 Over) World Cup.
It disappointed me and is that bad a decision it even surprised me. I know full well that ICC are capable of blundering, I’m not naive, but even by their standards this is something else.
I accept that decisions are taken in which – we the public – aren’t privy to the reasons why. To the average guy in the street, it makes no sense, but behind the scenes there are good reasons why a particular conclusion is come too.
But on what level can there be a logical reason for this decision?
I have read reports that it is down to playing only competitive matches in the next world cup, to stop the farcical one sided affairs that Kenya and Canada were involved in, as a new TV deal is up for negotiation after the 2015 tournament and ICC want to be in a position of strength going into negotiations.
Surely games involving Ireland and Holland aren’t that damaging to the TV contract? Or to put it another way, are they any worse than games involving Zimbabwe or Bangladesh?
Anyway, at what stage of the last competition did Ireland embarrass themselves any more than West Indies, Zimbabwe or Bangladesh did? Or even England for that matter.
I can also understand that the tournament is too long and too many meaningless matches were played. Yes, I agree with all that, I agree changes had to be made, but this is going way too far.
Maybe just cutting it to 12 teams would have been much fairer, with the top 10 ranked ODI teams and 2 qualifiers taking part.
It is also outrageous that only the 10 full members will be the teams taking part. This is an ODI tournament, not a test match one.
If it is to be 10 teams, then it should be the best 10 ODI teams – made up of either the top 10 ranked, or the top 8 ranked with 2 qualifiers.
On every level I can think off, this decision stinks.