Dublin, June 19 (IANS) Cricket Ireland chief executive Warren Deutrom is still hopeful the 2019 World Cup in England will include more than 10 teams.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) will meet on Monday in Barbados to discuss the quadrennial event.
“I never believe in never,” Deutrom was quoted as saying by bbc.com on Friday.
“One could turn the clock back to 2011, when the 2015 World Cup was set to include only 10 teams but the decision was overturned,” he said.
Ireland have featured in each of the last three World Cups, which have had a minimum of 14 teams, reaching the Super Eight stage in 2007 and narrowly missing out on the quarter-finals after defeating the West Indies and Zimbabwe this year.
A 10-team tournament in 2019 has been planned since 2011, when the ICC reversed its decision to cut the 2015 edition.
However, with cricketing minnows like Ireland, Scotland, Afghanistan and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) performing brilliantly in the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, ICC chief executive Dave Richardson has said the format of the 2019 tournament could yet be renegotiated.
“I always believe in reasonableness and hopefully, advocacy will win,” said Deutrom, who will attend the five-day annual conference of cricket’s governing body.
“Our players and Irish cricket fans can be assured that Cricket Ireland is advocating as much as possible to ICC about the wisdom of embracing a larger World Cup.”
An obstacle that can compel ICC to stick to 10 teams are the television rights which have already been sold taking into account 10 sides.
Ireland, 10th in world rankings, could still qualify if they force themselves into the top eight or come through a qualifying tournament.