Just a quick response to the comment that the minnows need to be at the World Cup with the example being set by Sri Lanka in the 80’s. I don’t say that there is no place at the World Cup for the minnows but that the number taking part should be cut down. Outside the test playing nations, which include two weak teams in Bangladesh and Zimbabwe (Zimbabwe will once again be a test playing nation in December) there should be no more then 2 non test nations. These would be the finalists of the qualifying round, which could take place within the year before the World Cup or even 2 weeks before in the host country. This would mean that only the strongest of these teams will make it. In the 80’s Sri Lanka were at a level that Bangladesh are at now and not where Canada and Bermuda are. They would have been the strongest of the minnows and thus been at the World Cup in my rational. As for having to play the stronger nations to improve I don’t see that happening when Scotland lose to Australia by 203 runs and then won’t play them again for maybe 4 years. Playing 2 top teams every 4 years won’t be a way to improve but rather just a story to tell your grand kids. This view is further justified when you take into account the USA played at the World Cup in 2003 and aren’t here now. So should they qualify for the next world cup they would have played a top team every 8 years. They are unlikely to take anything other then a sense of occasion from these matches. Kenya are the best of the minnows and have been at every world cup since 96. They are the team that are most likely to get something out of this format and will slowly make their way to full test status in the future. The rest are just here to make up the numbers and make the tournament seem as big as the soccer world cup. Less teams, more meaningful matches is the way to go.
Cricket – Quick Response