As the BBC reports, at the ICC Executive Board meeting at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Mumbai on 4 April 2011 it was agreed that
The Executive Board confirmed their decision made in October 2010 that the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 in Australia and New Zealand and the ICC Cricket World Cup in England in 2019 will be a 10-team event. The Board agreed that the 2015 World Cup will comprise the existing 10 Full Members, however, they gave notice to all Full Members that participation in the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup will be determined on the basis of qualification. It was also agreed that post the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 there will be promotion and relegation introduced in the ODI League. [added emphasis]
The Board had also decided in October 2010 that the ICC World Twenty20 will comprise 16 teams. This would allow six Associates or Affiliates the opportunity to participate in an ICC Global event every two years.
Which means that even though Ireland’s performance during the ICC World Cup 2011 elevated them back to 10th in the ODI rankings, above Zimbabwe, as a full member of the ICC, Zimbabwe will play in the 2015 Cricket World Cup. And Ireland won’t.
That’s regardless of rankings and despite the fact that Zimbabwe has not played a Test cricket match since 2005, and withdrew from Test cricket in 2006.
Ireland will have to hope to retain at least their current ranking, 10th, until 2018/19 to play their next 50-overs ICC World Cup game.
The BBC report adds
The possibility of a 12-team tournament was also discussed by the ICC’s executive board at a meeting in Mumbai, but it opted to approve its previous decision to exclude all associate and affiliate member nations from the next edition of the competition.
Apart from Ireland, who also beat Pakistan at the 2007 World Cup, the other nations outside the ICC’s full members to take part in the 2011 event were Kenya, Canada and the Netherlands.
And the BBC quotes Cricket Ireland chief executive, Warren Deutrom
Cricket Ireland chief executive Warren Deutrom said: “We’re outraged by this decision, we’re not taking it lying down.
“It’s a betrayal of sporting principles and it flies in the face of all the evidence we saw at the World Cup, which was that an associate nation could compete with the best teams in the world.
“It’s baffling but am I surprised? Not really, because clearly there are instances where protection of existing privileges is considered more important than any other principle – including those of sport, fairness and equality.
“In the last four years we have been ranked above one of the teams that now has automatic qualification for the World Cup, Zimbabwe, and there isn’t a single point you can take from that that is remotely justifiable.”
Adds From the RTÉ report
Warwickshire opener Porterfield rejected the notion that an expanded 16-team World Twenty20 would help soften the blow to associate nations and called on the influential ICC executive board – which comprises representatives from each of the 10 full member nations as well as the organisation’s chief executive, president and vice-president – to assess their reasons for making the decision.
‘To come out and try to cover things up by saying there are going to be 16 teams at the World Twenty20 is ridiculous,’ said Porterfield.
‘They say it’s a compensation but I can’t agree with that because it is every player’s dream to play at and win a World Cup.
‘Everyone in the cricketing world can see they are shutting the door on not only a lot of players, but also on the development of world cricket.
‘It’s not just about Ireland. This could mean the death of cricket in a lot of countries…and all because a few full members are looking to make a few extra quid from the competitions.
‘How they can turn around, shut out half the world and still call themselves a world governing body is an absolute joke.
‘It is every full member’s duty to look after world cricket. Now the whole integrity of the World Cup has been brought into question because this is not a World Cup, it’s a glorified Champions Trophy.’