The MCC world cricket committee says dropping the World Cup to a 10-team event “is a retrograde step”.
The last two Cricket World Cups, including this year’s in Australia and New Zealand, hosted 14 teams.
The next two, in 2019 and 2023, have been planned with only 10. The committee, following a two-day meeting at Lord’s, recommends 12 with a “preliminary qualifying round.”
The committee said on Tuesday that 10-team events are “a retrograde step that damages the potential for growth in cricket’s developing nations”, and “is a handbrake for the development of the sport”.
The committee, an independent think-tank chaired by former England captain Mike Brearley and including other past captains Ricky Ponting, Rahul Dravid, and Shaun Pollock, asked the International Cricket Council to reconsider the number of sides.
It also backed Twenty20 for inclusion in the Olympics.
“The Olympics is a fundamental opportunity for cricket,” the committee said, and wouldn’t detract from its own world tournaments.
“Competing in an Olympic Games would be … a massive boost to developing cricket nations, and give much greater exposure for the sport to a new audience.”
The committee suggested the England and Wales Cricket Board, notably president and ICC representative Giles Clarke, had been a stumbling block to cricket’s Olympic ambitions, but new chairman Colin Graves and new chief executive Tom Harrison were willing to rethink England’s position.
Brearley welcomed their open mind, and warned Clarke that as president, he “is an employee of the board and has to report to the board. He has to do what he’s told”.