Flower criticises ICC for move to reduce number of teams in WC

Ahmedabad, Feb 19 (PTI) Zimbabwe batting coach GrantFlower today criticised ICC''s proposal to make 50-over WorldCup a 10-team affair in 2015, terming it a "backward" step anddetrimental to the growth of cricket in smaller nations.

ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat had said yesterday thatWorld Twenty20 would be expanded to 16 teams from 12 while the50-over World Cup would be cut to 10 sides.

"I don''t agree with that. I think these (smaller) nationsneed exposure to develop," Flower, a former Zimbabwe Testopener, said referring to four ICC Associate members --Netherlands, Ireland, Kenya and Canada.

"Obviously, there are pros and cons for that decision. Ifit does happen I see it as things going backward and notforward," he added.

16 nations participated in the 2007 World Cup in the WestIndies while the 14 teams are competing in the 2011 edition inthe subcontinent.

Bermuda and Scotland were the two teams which were partof the World Cup in the Caribbean and missing from the 2011edition.

"We have felt in the past few years that Twenty20 is thebest format to develop the game worldwide and it provides abetter environment for competition. The 50-over format is moreskill-based and suitable for the top teams," Lorgat had said.

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