World Cup lifeline for Ireland
Qualification criteria could be changed for 2015
Last Updated: 19/04/11 12:08pm
The International Cricket Council's president Sharad Pawar has asked the governing body's executive board to reconsider the composition of the 2015 Cricket World Cup.
The next tournament is set to include just 10 teams, down from the 14 who contested the recently completed World Cup in the Indian sub-continent.
A re-think could mean a return to the game's biggest stage for the likes of Ireland, who had been set to miss out under the new format.
The decision to strip the World Cup back from 14 teams to only the 10 full member nations in 2015 was met with fury among the associate members, especially the Irish side that performed so impressively in the sub-continent.
Dissatisfaction among the associate and affiliate nations has since been communicated to Pawar and he has responded by requesting the executive board look again at the structure of the tournament.
The executive board meet again at the ICC annual conference in Hong Kong next month when the subject will be reopened.
While it had been agreed that the 2019 tournament would include a qualification period, the notion of pre-selecting the 10 teams for the 2015 World Cup, based simply on member status, was highly controversial.
Ireland captain William Porterfield, whose side beat England and narrowly missed out on a quarter-final place in 2011, branded the decision "an embarrassment and a joke", while Irish chief executive Warren Deutrom vowed to pursue all avenues of appeal.
An ICC statement read: "After receiving representations from the associate and affiliate members of the ICC, the ICC President Mr Sharad Pawar has decided to request the ICC Executive Board to revisit the issue in Hong Kong in June."
Pawar added: "I have given this matter further serious thought and will request the board to consider this topic once more. I can understand the views of the associates and affiliates and ICC will seek to deal with this issue in the best way possible."
The next World Cup is still expected to feature just 10 teams, but the ICC may be persuaded to allow the top 10 ranked teams to play, or even introduce a play-off between the sides ranked 8th to 12th.