Discussions at the Associates meeting of the ICC Annual conference in Edinburgh have given rise to speculation that two more teams might be added to the main draw of the World T20 in 2018. There are also indications that a few representatives of the Associate nations may get full voting rights.
Tim Cutler, chief executive of the Hong Kong Cricket Association, said, "What I have heard described is that two teams will go through from [each] first group to create a Super 12.
“That seems to be the agreed format at the moment. Hopefully that means with two [more] going through, potentially two more could come into the qualifiers to make 18 but the sound of it at the moment is it's going to be 16 into 12. It's a move in the right direction,” ESPNcricinfo reported.
If the World T20 Qualifiers had a similar format, Netherlands and Zimbabwe could have made it to the second round. The Dutch had won one and lost one match, but a washout meant they were knocked out of the tournament. Zimbabwe had also lost only one match, but could not reach the next round.
Representatives from Italy and France have informed ICC that they had been in contact with their Olympic Associations to gather support so that cricket could be included in the 2024 Olympics, if Rome or Paris bagged the hosting rights, ESPNcricinfo reported. This route became necessary after reports came in that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) was planning to do away with the direct entry path to register a sport in the Olympics. In such a case, cricket, or any sport’s inclusion, would depend on the host nation's nod.
The proposal, discussed in Edinburgh on Tuesday, did not bring much confidence to the Associates’ hope that an Olympic T20 tournament would mean more opportunities for them. The proposal that was discussed accounted for only eight teams each for men and women, keeping in mind the number of athletes the Olympics can accommodate.
The Associates had reason to cheer though, as a motion has been put forward to give three representatives on the ICC full voting privileges, meaning a bigger voice during decisiomaking.
"Everything we're hearing from the ICC chairman really does point towards a new era in ICC governance and the structures behind that. We talk about one man, one vote, are we going to have a 105-member federation with votes? Highly unlikely in the short term but if we do get to a point where the three Associate directors have a vote each, that really does shift the paradigm that was the ICC board and really moving things in the right direction where emerging nations really do have a true voice at the top table,” Cutler said, ESPNcricinfo reported.