Former Australia opening batsman Matthew Hayden has come out in support of ICC’s decision to keep the 2015 World Cup elite.
This comes after a wide debate over the structure of the 2015 World Cup with the ICC insisting on a 10-team format as against the formats followed in all previous versions. Teams like Ireland had put up their dissatisfaction on the elite format arguing that it would hamper the involvement of the so called minnows.
“I sympathise with the arguments but these competitions are about the world’s finest and even though Ireland produced some outstanding cricket, which shows the support mechanisms for our developing nations are working, I still think the World Cup should be for the premium sides”, Hayden told a magazine in an interview.
Hayden, who is now a director of Cricket Australia, played a pivotal role in Australia's successful World Cup campaigns in 2003 and 2007 and was skeptical of the quality of the World Cups.
“I would like to see further changes to the World Cup because you do not want to disenfranchise a community. They need to be involved in the system that promotes and relegates. If Ireland are sitting in the top eight, there is a system where sides have the chance to miss out. It’s not a Test-ranking competition; it’s a one-day competition. I support a 10-nation tournament", said Hayden
The ICC has already ruled in favour of the format which plans to exclude the Associate nations from cricket's most coveted tournamet, including Ireland, despite some inspiring performances at the 2011 edition but President Sharad Pawar has since agreed to review the decision.
The final decision is due to be taken at the ICC Executive Board meeting in Hong Kong scheduled for the end of June.