Cricket World Cup scaled down to 10 teams

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The ICC has confirmed the next two World Cups will be contested by 10 teams, dealing a major blow to associate nations like Ireland. The recent competition featured 14 sides but the ICC executive board made its intentions clear last year to reduce that by four for the 2015 and 2019 events.

There was opposition from associate nations, who felt their exclusion would hinder development. In Mumbai yesterday the executive board discussed the possibility of a 12-team tournament, but instead the board members decided to reaffirm their previous decision. Only the full member nations will be invited to the next World Cup, before a qualification process is opened ahead of the 2019 event.