How Ireland Was Excluded From 2015 World Cup

Via Masuud Qazi, Setanta Sports has this incredible report on how Ireland got kicked out:

Setanta Sports can reveal that that the 13-strong meeting split into three factions, with a group of major cricketing nations that included India, Australia and England proposing a ten-team World Cup which would mirror the successful 1992 World Cup, where the winner and three runners-up of a round-robin format would progress to the semi-finals.

This formula would guarantee that the financial powerhouse of the game, India, would be guaranteed nine games, with the consequent huge TV revenues that would inevitably flow back to the ICC.

[…]¬†Another bloc of Full Members were keen on a 12-team tournament. These included Zimbabwe and Bangladesh, who were keen on guaranteeing their own participation even if their results over the next four years dropped. However, they were persuaded by the game’s powerhouses that a ten-team Full Member only World Cup would be in their best interests, leaving representatives of the Associate Nations completely isolated in the meeting.

Questions: 1) What did Zimbabwe and Bangladesh get in return for their silence? 2) Is there no financial incentive to grooming cricket talent outside of the current markets? That is, our are the big boards — Eng, Aus and Ind — simply assuming that there’s no point reaching out into, uh, Zimbabwe or Ireland or Afghanistan because it’s too long-term of a prospect to matter now?

Read the whole story. There are more juicy details in the narrative. (Caveat: sources are not revealed; I’ve never heard of Setanta Sports and don’t know how credible it is.)

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7 thoughts on “How Ireland Was Excluded From 2015 World Cup

  1. Mahek says:

    The answer to the first question is very simple: They got an assured place in the World Cup since there is no qualification process. There could be more in terms of future fixtures but we don’t know that yet.

    The answer to the second question is slightly tricky. It could be possible that the major cricketing nations are happy with the status quo. Afterall, India have seemingly no reason to play a role in expanding the game as the board is minting money by the millions anyway. The officials running the game may just be concerned with getting enough for themselves while they’re in this position. Similarly, the broadcaster, ESPNSTAR in this case, has no incentive to think of the long-term interest of the game as its contract with the ICC runs out in 2015. They’re anyway paying out of their noses & it is very difficult for them to break even unless the Asian teams play more matches.

    • duckingbeamers says:

      Fascinating, Mahek. I had no idea ESPNStar was in such a bad position. So none of the incentives align — India doesn’t care about any market than its own (and why should it?); the ICC needs to cater to India, or risk more serious problems elsewhere, and the TV broadcasters don’t think there’s any money in the Associates.

      Wow.

      • Mahek says:

        Pretty much every network that buys rights to Indian cricket/ICC tourneys knows its best chance of breaking even is to have as many India matches as possible. It’s great for India but not so great for the sport on a global level as it is so dependent on just one market.

        I don’t know if the BCCI cares about any other market but it definitely should, as should all other boards. If one team grows stronger while others regress fans will just get bored of watching one-sided games. Even the Ashes had gone lukewarm when the Aussies were dominating England all those years. The emergence of India as a team and increase in expat population has meant Australia and England have a big home series every two years instead of just hosting the Ashes every four. Now imagine if Pakistan also got really good.

        The point I’m making is people want to watch their team but if the matches are one-sided they’ll just get bored, especially in test cricket. It’s in the long-term interest of every board to ensure there are as many competitive teams as possible.

  2. BP says:

    Thanks for the link and the story. A new low for the ICC.

    But I’m also disappointed that the relatively more influential English and Australian press don’t go after their boards and CEOs more. I mean despite all its evils, the Indian board at least used to stand up for SL and Bangladesh cricket in the ’80s and ’90s. Surely the ECB should be castigated (and pressured via the press) to stand up for Cricket Ireland!

    We know the BCCI tends to have a one-track mind. But we can’t let powerful boards like the ECB and the ACB keep getting away with their “innocent bystanders” defence. Frankly, the BCCI, the ECB & ACB have been co-conspirators over the last 3 years… but the English and Aussie media have continued to gloss over their culpability, and focused solely on the BCCI’s depravity.

    I hope Ireland can rally the Associate nations and show the ICC that they’re not gonna be doormats any more.

    • duckingbeamers says:

      Thanks for the comment, BP. I don’t know how much opposition either the ECB and the CA (Cricket Australia) can muster — aren’t they all joined at the hip in the Champions League? And isn’t CA beholden to tons of Indian money for its local T20 league?

      • BP says:

        I think it’s more a lack of will to stand up, and self-centred mercenary thinking, rather than lack of muscle. An ECB+CA combine wouldn’t be something even the BCCI could sneeze at; particularly when something blatantly unjust was being considered, which could invite protests from all 95 Associates.

        And CA’s T20 league isn’t beholden to Indian money yet… there has only been talk of Indian private / corporate investment. The Champions League is a JV… but then BCCI needs to at least hear out its business partners.

        I still maintain that this “innocent victims / bystanders” posing shouldn’t fool anyone. The ECB and CA have become just as mercenary as the BCCI (eg. their recent ODI series, and the plan for 10 Ashes Tests in 2 yrs!)… but their press refuses to hold them culpable for this latest outrage, and just keeps lamenting about the big bad Indian wolf.

  3. […] read the ducking beamer’s post “How Ireland Was Excluded From 2015 World Cup”, fascinating insight, inferences and conclusions from Setanta or whatever the fuck that source […]

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