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ICC cricket committee calls for World Cup qualifiers
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London, (AFP): Non-Test nations should be given the chance to qualify for the World Cup, the cricket committee of the International Cricket Council (ICC) said here on Wednesday.

Under plans announced during an ICC summit in Mumbai last month, participation at the 2015 and 2019 World Cups is set to be restricted to just the 10 Full-Member or Test nations of the global governing body.

That caused uproar in associate or non-Test countries such as Ireland, who beat England in Bangalore at this year's World Cup and nearly qualified for the quarter-finals.

The 2011 World Cup, won by India, featured 14 teams and the decision to exclude non Test-playing nations such as Ireland from future editions led to accusations the ICC had created a 'closed shop' tournament.

However, Sharad Pawar, the Indian president of the ICC, subsequently called for the proposal to be reviewed. And, following a two-day meeting of the cricket committee, where former Ireland captain Trent Johnston is the associate nation representative, ICC general manager Dave Richardson told reporters that they would be recommending a qualification series.

"The committee resolved to pass on the recommendation that it favoured a system of qualification for the World Cup," he said. "That it was not restricted to the 10 Full Members and that there was an opportunity to qualify."

Under the original proposals, the World Twenty20 tournament is set to be expanded to 16 teams, theoretically ensuring non Test-playing nations will still benefit from international exposure.

However, those plans prompted an angry reaction from associate nations, with Cricket Ireland's chief executive Warren Deutrom describing them as "frankly outrageous".

The ICC's executive board will reconsider the composition of the 2015 World Cup during their annual conference in Hong Kong at the end of June.

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