Yes, the teams do earn out of the World Cup and that is the one reason why the Associates could feel hard done by – the ICC distributes part of the profits to those countries who have played in the World Cup.
But that is a discussion for later. For now, from purely a cricketing point of view is the ICC right in discarding the Associates teams?
If you ask me, a fan of the game, I would hardly want to watch a Kenyan side getting pummelled by New Zealand. Nor would I want to have a side like Canada being crushed by 210 runs in the World Cup. It can barely be interesting for either the fans or the team itself.
Ricky Ponting made an interesting point on how the teams can hardly learn from such defeats. I will have to agree with his point of view. Talk about Canada having played in 2003 World Cup. They had a decent start to the tournament. Then, in 2007, they lost all their games before crashing out. This time around, it not only looks that apart from Kenya, they will lose all of them but also lose them in a hurry.
Are they learning? Probably. Are they showing any kind of improvement? No. Instead, the better way to go about it would be to allow these teams, as also suggested by Ponting, to play in two or three match series against the top teams or their second-string sides. Given the way both Kenya and Canada had played in the opening game, one can be rest assured that the second string teams of some of the top countries would not break into too much sweat to beat them.
Instead, it was interesting to see the manner in which Netherlands started off against England and it would then again, argue for the Associates. What can then be done is to go for a middle-path – have the ten top nations being joined by a maximum of one or two Associates – teams which do really well.