Ahmedabad: The highly debated decision of International Cricket Council to prune down the number of World Cup participants to ten full members in 2015 on Sunday got the backing of Australian captain Ricky Ponting who said the tournament belonged to the elite members.
"I have always been unsure if the World Cup and Champions Trophy are the right place for small nations. And I am not sure how much these teams actually learn when they are hammered in contests," Ponting said here ahead of his team's World Cup lung opener against Zimbabwe at Motera Stadium.
Ponting felt that the World Cup should be a tournament for fewer teams and making efforts to develop the game worldwide should not necessarily mean that smaller nations be allowed to take part in the flagship event.
"You need to bring on some of these small nations into the world of cricket. We want to the see the game develop and blossom around the world," said the 36-year-old twice World Cup-winning captain who is to feature in his fifth World Cup after making his debut in 1996.
"At the end of the day it would probably be a better tournament if they were fewer teams (in the World Cup). It's the pinnacle of the sport. We understand the responsibility to keep the game growing," Ponting, who is poised to make a record 40th World Cup appearance, said.
The 2011 World Cup has 14 teams, including associate members Kenya, Canada, Ireland and The Netherlands. In 2015 edition, to be held in Australia and New Zealand, there would be only ten teams, as per the decision taken by the world governing body for the game.