ICC decision outrages cricketers, lovers
KABUL(PAN): Cricket experts, players and lovers in Afghanistan say they were shocked and outraged by the International Cricket Council (ICC)'s decision to cut the number of teams in the 2015 World Cup down to 10, saying the move was damaging to the game.
The ICC cut the number of teams at the 2015 World Cup from 14 to 10 few days ago, dealing a blow to teams such as Ireland, Holland and Canada as they would not have a chance to qualify for the event. A qualification process will, however, be gone through for the 2019 edition.
"The ICC should review its decision in the interest of the game," said Afghanistan's former skipper, Raees Ahmadzai.
He said cricket had millions of fans across the globe and the ICC's move was a blow to the development of world cricket. "It disappointed cricket lovers not only in Afghanistan, but allover the world," he said.
The Afghan cricket team coach, Taj Maluk Alam, said the ICC decision to make the next world cup a 10-team tournament had left Afghan cricket team players outraged. He called the move a great injustice with the game and its fans.
Alam said four nations who were part of the recent world cup in India had been defeated by Afghanistan. He said the decision closed the door in face of Ireland and Afghanistan.
The head of Loba Sports Training Organization (LSTO), Rahim Gul Sarwan, said that weak cricket teams were seen giving tough time to strong rival teams during the recently concluded World Cup.
Head of Loba magazine, Zarab Shah Zaheer, suggests the ICC to include eight strong teams in the next world cup, and choose two from weak teams through competition.
"Three teams that have been included in the list for the next cup are stronger than Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, who are also part of the cup," he said.
Player and member of National Cricket Team, Noor Ali Zadran, said he was also disappointed by the ICC decision. Afghan players have been struggling over the last few years to find their way to the world cup, but the decision disappointed them, he said.
"We have won many matches that gave the people a hope to see their national team will participate in the next world cup," he said. He said it was "a bizarre decision" that was completely unwarranted and out of place.
"If our national team can not participate in the upcoming world cup, no one in Afghanistan will watch the eventt on TVs," Amaduddin, a resident of eastern Nangarhar province, said.
He said the ICC move could impact the game's future and it could mean the death of cricket in a lot of countries.
The ICC CEO Haroon Lorgat has justified the ICC move by saying, "We have always wanted to try to be as compact as possible. That is not the only reason why 2015 World Cup will be a 10-team event".
He said they also believed that in 50-over cricket, there were 10 teams that would make for good competition, as part of the reason as well.
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