4 reasons why the ICC World Cup 2019 could be the most exciting one ever
The upcoming ICC World Cup will have just ten teams, unlike the last World Cup which had 14 teams. The format of the tournament will be a single group comprising 10 teams playing against each other in a round-robin fashion. The top four teams will qualify for the semi-finals.
The ICC's decision to reduce the number of teams from 14 to 10 has received severe criticism across the cricketing world. However, ICC stood firm stating that the tournament will be more meaningful if it has the most competitive teams.
England have received direct qualification since they are the host of the tournament. India, Australia, Bangladesh, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa and Sri Lanka have gotten qualified by their superior ICC ODI ranking. Afghanistan and West Indies have got qualified through the 2018 Cricket World Cup Qualifier which had participation from ten teams.
Here are the four key reasons to believe that the upcoming edition of the ICC Cricket World Cup will be the most exciting World Cup ever.
#1 Absence of Associate Member Nations for the first time
This World Cup will have only 10 teams - four less than the 2015 World Cup - resulting in an outcry from the ICC Associate Nations that they are ignored from cricket's grand event.
The ICC has made a smarter but not a popular decision here. The Associate Nations struggled to make an impact in the past few World Cups. In the last edition, Scotland and UAE lost all their six games. Similarly, in the 2011 Cricket World Cup, Kenya and Netherlands couldn't manage a win out of their possible 12 games.
With all due respect to the Associate Nations, the intensity of games have been diluted with a lot of meaningless matches. Now with just 10 teams, every match is going to be competitive.