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The composition of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 will be reconsidered by the Executive Board during the ICC Annual Conference in Hong Kong in June 2011. ICC's decision on April 4, 2011, to allow only Full Members to participate in the 2015 World Cup was met with full-throated protests from the associates and affiliates and the latest announcement by ICC gives hope to countries such as Ireland and Afghanistan.
Today's announcement by ICC confirms recent media reports suggesting that ICC was under pressure to review the decision. On April 9, 2011, PTI, quoting a confidential source, reported that the format for the 2015 World Cup 'could still be debated and discussed at future ICC meetings.'
According to the ICC media release, ICC President Mr Sharad Pawar has decided to request the Board to revisit the issue. Mr Pawar is quoted as saying: "I have given this matter further serious thought and will request the Board to consider this topic once more. I can understand the views of the Associates and Affiliates and ICC will seek to deal with this issue in the best way possible."
The April 4 decision by ICC was seen by analysts as a way to protect the weaker full member teams. Recent media reports have suggested that Bangladesh and Zimbabwe were in favor of a 10 team format as they were not comfortable with a situation where they would be forced to compete with associate teams.
An expanded format might help usher in a meritocracy creating a healthy competition among those countries that are viewed as strong contenders for the top 12 slots. USA's chances for qualification during 2015 are slim and the team's next chance of improving on their present ranking of 26 is not until 2012.