In this year’s edition which the West Indies won on Sunday, 16 teams were involved from the start of the tournament. Two groups of four made up of associate nations battled it out for two spots in the super 10 - two groups of five - in the main tournament. The associate games took place in the week leading up to the super 10 when the ‘bigger nations’ entered the competition.
“I think the format itself works. Whether we promoted those first round matches well enough, that’s a question we need to answer at a later stage and review it,” Richardson told Cricket Radio in an interview ahead of Sunday’s finals. “The format has worked in that all the matches, first round and second round, it’s designed to create even contests between the teams and to that extent it’s worked exceptionally well.”
“Whether we move to perhaps increasing the size of the tournament by adding one or two teams, or one team to each group in that first round, I think if we can do that number one we’ll provide more opportunities to other teams but number two, if you do lose two matches you’ve still got a chance in a group of five whereas in a group of four, you’re dead and buried. That might be useful and then even maybe increasing, instead of having a Super 10 have a Super 12 maybe which will again increase the number of matches but I think it will give more opportunities for the Associate members to participate in the second round of the tournament itself.”
The opening rounds with the associate nations, as expected, did not garner much attention from the cricketing public, but Richardson said it would be important to give more fringe countries a chance at competing on the biggest stage.
“Don’t forget the first round, although it wasn’t as well attended as we would have liked, is part of the tournament,” Richardson said. “So they qualified for the tournament, they went through it, they had to compete to get into the tournament with other teams and it’s a bit like Wimbledon or any of these major tournaments where you go through pre-qualifying sometimes, you make the tournament itself and unfortunately you lose in the first round and you’re on your way.
“So I think on the one hand we want to more opportunities for the Associate members. We want to try and achieve more competitive teams at the highest level, but on the other hand if you’re an Associate member player, you play for Scotland or Holland, the ICC pays for you to go play in the Intercontinental Cup, the World Cricket League Championship, play in ICC events from time to time. It’s not all bad. So I think we must try and avoid a sense of entitlement, whether it’s from the Associate members or the Full Members.”
As for starting the World T20 on a four-year cycle, it would help promote the health of One Day Internationals and Test cricket said Richardson.
“The danger of course is that if we keep pushing T20 and keep playing T20 events every two years, it’ll effectively cannibalise the other two,” Richardson said. “We want to make sure that we keep an even and more reasonable balance between the three formats, hence the decision to go with one men’s World T20 in a four-year cycle.
“Again, the reason to go to a 10-team [2019 World Cup] tournament was done for a number of reasons some time back. Number one probably it was a format that would generate more competitive cricket and secondly more value. If we’re honest with ourselves, a tournament which involves a guaranteed nine Indian matches is worth substantially more than a tournament with less Indian matches. And of course the money that’s generated from that event is for the benefit of all members including the Associate members.”
African News Agency
Original source: ICC wants more teams in #WT20