Ponting bats for ICC move to reduce World Cup playing teams

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

AHMEDABAD - Australian captain Ricky Ponting is reportedly in favour of reducing the number of teams playing the World Cup and the Champions Trophy to ten from 14 at present.

He believed the International Cricket Council’s decision in this regard was justifiable.

“You need to be bringing some of these smaller nations on in the world of cricket. We all want to see the game develop and blossom in different countries around the world. I’ve always been a bit unsure if World Cups and Champions Trophies are the right place to do that,” the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Ponting, as saying during a news conference after the Australia-Zimbabwe World Cup opener on Monday.

He added: “The major reason for that is I’m not sure how much the [smaller] teams actually learn when they’re getting hammered like they tend to do in some of those contests. It would probably be a better tournament if there were fewer teams, but we understand the responsibility for the game to continue to grow around the world as well.”

Based on ODI team rankings released on the eve of the World Cup, all nine nations playing Test cricket would qualify, but Zimbabwe, who still retain Test status, would miss out in favour of Ireland.

Netherlands coach Peter Drinnen, an Australian, said it was up to associate nations to show they were not “pushovers”.

“Now that the ICC has announced their decision, it is necessary for the minnows to keep sending messages by putting up strong performances,” Drinnen said.

He added: “Whether we lose or win, it’s important to give our best every time we enter the field. People will get to see how much progress we have made.” (ANI)

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