The International Cricket Council (ICC) has confirmed that the 2015 World Cup will comprise the ten current full members of the ICC although for the 2019 event, the opportunity for other teams to qualify will be available.
The decision comes at the conclusion of an ICC Board meeting held in Mumbai following the conclusion of the 2011 World Cup, which was won by India in front of their home fans at the Wankhede Stadium.
In explaining the decision to rule out Associate and Affiliate countries participating in Australia and New Zealand in four years, the ICC reiterated that the ICC World Twenty20 from 2012 onwards would include 16 countries - six qualifiers joining the ten full members.
Although Ireland beat England to cause the tournament's biggest upset, the other Associate nations - Kenya, Netherlands and Canada - were unable to claim a single victory against a major nation between them and for the 2015 tournament, have made Australia 7/2 favourites to follow India's example and win on home soil.
"The Executive Board confirmed their decision made in October 2010 that the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 in Australia and New Zealand and the ICC Cricket World Cup in England in 2019 will be a 10-team event," an ICC statement confirmed.
"The Board agreed that the 2015 World Cup will comprise the existing 10 Full Members, however, they gave notice to all Full Members that participation in the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup will be determined on the basis of qualification. It was also agreed that post the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 there will be promotion and relegation introduced in the ODI League.
"The Board had also decided in October 2010 that the ICC World Twenty20 will comprise 16 teams. This would allow six Associates or Affiliates the opportunity to participate in an ICC Global event every two years."
The board also announced that $US 1 million, from the World Cup, would be given to New Zealand Cricket to help them re-establish their offices which were destroyed by the recent Christchurch earthquake.
Elsewhere, the board is to propose changes to the ICC Constitution, designed to prevent 'undue interference' by governments in the administration of cricket in member countries.
The ICC Strategic Plan 2011-15 has been approved by the board, chief executive Haroon Lorgat commenting:
"The strategy is the product of wide ranging and constructive engagement held with the world’s leading cricket administrators and stakeholders. The plan covers a range of strategic topics from the role of the ICC, governance, promotion and protection of the three forms of the game, competition and meritocratic pathways as well as targeted investment.
"The targeted funding for Members will be used to protect the game and its integrity; provide a platform for success and also focus on growth and improvement of playing standards."
The operations of the Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) are to be reviewed while Australian umpire Steve Davis has been nominated as the Umpires Representative on the ICC Cricket Committee, replacing compatriot Simon Taufel.
© Cricket World 2011