Hang your head in shame ICC
The International Cricket Council (ICC) has made its worst ever decision by shamelessly barring the associate countries from playing in the 2015 World Cup irrespective of their standards.
It was nothing but a decision taken out of fear of growing playing standards rather than making any cricket sense.
Those who took the decision must take a good look at themselves and ask whether it was a decision made with even the slightest thought for promoting the game. The answer will have them all to bowing their heads in shame.
One of the factors that contributed to the huge success of the 2011 World Cup was the spirited performance of the associate countries.
These countries, instead of crying for help, should now step forward to take some bold decisions.
If they are concerned about their future, they should consider boycotting the ICC until the decision is withdrawn. It should be noted that the number of associate and affiliate members now stands at over 90 and they should not, at any cost, permit the ten top nations to decide their futures.
After watching West Indies and Zimbabwe during this World Cup, one felt it was high time they improved their standards. The ICC portrays the World Cup as the ultimate tournament of cricketing glory; don't they then want the best teams in the world to compete in it?
Ireland, Canada, Netherlands, Afghanistan and UAE, to name a few, are nations fighting the toughest of odds to improve their standards. The efforts their boards put into transforming them into strong teams are much more significant than the lazy West Indies and Zimbabwe. Can the ICC confidently predict that the West Indies and Zimbabwe will be stronger than Ireland or Afghanistan come 2015?
England look the other way
It's a shame England endorsed this decision after being convincingly defeated by their neighbour Ireland in the World Cup.
It only shows that when it comes to survival, this country, which speaks about cricket as a gentleman's game and suggests anything is unsporting is not cricket, chooses look the other way.
Yesterday, West Indies dropped their star players Chris Gayle, Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Ramnaresh Sarwan for the Pakistan series, while Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard have opted to play in the IPL. Nobody will want to watch West Indies without these players.
This is the time for associate and affiliate nations to tell the ICC that they value cricket more than grants.