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Page last updated at 13:02 GMT, Monday, 18 April 2011 14:02 UK

Post World Cup future worries non-Test sides

By Saroj Pathirana
BBC Sinhala Service

Canada cricketer Zubin Surkari (R) listens to team coach Pubudu Dassanayake during a training session in Bangalore, India
Dassanayake says the next years will be a 'dark period' for associate nations

The ICC's associate and affiliate members say their future ahead is "dark" with the 2015 World Cup limited to only 10 full member teams.

The non-Test playing nations, who described the decision as "scandalous" are in high-level talks over the next course of action.

Ireland, ranked higher than full Test-playing member Zimbabwe have already said they will consider legal action.

The International Cricket Council has so far refused to explain the decision.

However, in the void created by the governing body's silence, Tom Sears, chief executive officer of Cricket Kenya, described the decision to bar the associate and affiliate members from the 2015 World Cup as "scandalous."

"I fail to see why the ICC can't have a qualification process for the next tournament when they said that they would have one in 2019," he told the BBC Sinhala Service.

Tom Sears, the former chief executive of Derbyshire and the former head of business development at New Zealand Cricket, was furious at the ICC move.

"It is scandalous to call the next event a World Cup when it is an invitation tournament.

"If you look at other sports such as soccer, rugby and hockey, any team can qualify on merit. Cricket seems to be the only major sport that doesn't do that."

Commenting on Ireland's move to seek legal remedy against the ICC, Sears said he is in touch with all the other cricketing nations and agreed with them that the legal action would be "the very last resort."

Not only Canada all the top six associate countries benefited from the World Cup but we are now faced with dark four years ahead. We can't see what our path ahead would be

Canada coach Pubudu Dassanayake

His counterparts in Italy and Canada have also lent their support to Kenya's position.

Pubudu Dasannayake, Canada's national coach, said the next four years would be "dark" for the game in Canada.

"We received funding from the ICC, as well as from the Canadian government, to take part in a World Cup.

"We have made many structural developments - infrastructure, youth development - and put a lot of energy towards this game during the past eight years as a result of that funding," Dassanayake told the BBC.

"But now everything will be affected, we can't see what our path ahead will be."

Luka Bruno, CEO of the Italian cricket board and manager of the national cricket team, said the decision shows that cricket is still far from being a global sport.

Dilan Fernando
Dilan Fernando says he does not see the point of continuing to play for Italy

"If it is a global sport, everyone can have a chance to arrive at the World Cup through competition."

Italy, ranked 24 among 105 cricket playing nations, take part in the third division of the World Cricket League.

"I ask this question. We will next play league matches in 2013, probably in Uganda. Theoretically, if we have no hope of being qualified for the World Cup, why should we play this tournament? What is our target?" said Bruno.

Dilan Fernando, a member of the Italy's national cricket team, agrees with his team manager.

Smaller cricket playing nations such as Sri Lanka have been elevated to Test status as a result of strong performance at World Cups, he argues.

"Our ultimate aim is to get Test status after playing against the stronger teams. But I don't see a point for us to continue with cricket if we are not given that opportunity to improve," said Fernando, a player of Sri Lankan origin.

A spokesman for the ICC refused to comment.

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see also
Ireland consider legal challenge
08 Apr 11 |  Ireland
Vaughan criticises ICC Irish snub
07 Apr 11 |  Ireland
Ireland fight World Cup exclusion
05 Apr 11 |  Ireland
2015 World Cup is cut to 10 teams
10 Apr 11 |  Cricket
Cricket World Cup 2011
09 Mar 11 |  Cricket

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