Under fire for its decision to restrict the 2015 World Cup to 10 teams, the ICC on Tuesday decided to reinstate the associate nations by reverting to the 14-team format for the mega event.
The ICC in April had decided to restrict the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand to top 10 nations only, much to the dismay of the associate nations like Ireland and the Netherlands who strongly protested the decision.
The decision to put a cap on the teams had come due to criticism of the tournament's lengthy format.
It was not clear till Monday about the number of teams for the 2015 edition with the ICC Chief Executives' Committee recommending that there should be a qualifying tournament for participation in the elite event.
But on the third day of the Annual Conference on Tuesday, the ICC Executive Board took the decision that the 50-over flagship event will have 14 teams, according to a cricket website.
Four associate teams will line up alongside 10 full members in 2015, just like it was during the 2011 World Cup in the Indian subcontinent.
According to the website, some members believe that the inclusion of the associate nations was part of a deal to build support for the last major issue for discussion at the conference - scrapping the rotation policy for appointment of the ICC president.
In order to pass a resolution amending the rule about the appointment of the ICC chief, eight of the 10 Full Members and 38 of 50 Associates will have to vote in favour of the motion. That vote could now be a formality with the Associates being placated by Tuesday's decision.
Pakistan and Bangladesh - the two Full Members who were to nominate the next candidates for president and vice-president by the rotation system - are opposed to the change in the policy.