Ahmedabad, Feb 20 (PTI) The highly debated decision ofInternational Cricket Council to prune down the number ofWorld Cup participants to ten full members in 2015 today gotthe backing of Australian captain Ricky Ponting who said thetournament belonged to the elite members.
"I have always been unsure if the World Cup and ChampionsTrophy are the right place for small nations. And I am notsure how much these teams actually learn when they arehammered in contests," Ponting said here ahead of his team''sWorld Cup lung opener against Zimbabwe at Motera Stadium.Ponting felt that the World Cup should be a tournamentfor fewer teams and making efforts to develop the gameworldwide should not necessarily mean that smaller nations beallowed to take part in the flagship event.
"You need to bring on some of these small nations intothe world of cricket. We want to the see the game develop andblossom around the world," said the 36-year-old twice WorldCup-winning captain who is to feature in his fifth World Cupafter making his debut in 1996.
"At the end of the day it would probably be a bettertournament if they were fewer teams (in the World Cup). It''sthe pinnacle of the sport. We understand the responsibility tokeep the game growing," Ponting, who is poised to make arecord 40th World Cup appearance, said.
The 2011 World Cup has 14 teams, including associatemembers Kenya, Canada, Ireland and The Netherlands.
In 2015 edition, to be held in Australia and New Zealand,there would be only ten teams, as per the decision taken bythe world governing body for the game.