Holland chief executive Richard Cox wants answers from the International Cricket Council about the future of associate member countries following the decision to exclude minnows from the 2015 World Cup.
Only Test-playing nations will be allowed to compete in four years time, leaving emerging cricketing countries such as Holland and Ireland in the international wilderness and facing an uncertain future. Irish cricket boss Warren Deutrom has already been withering in his criticism of the ICC decision.
“I’m not surprised by the decision the ICC have made but I am extremely disappointed that there will be no qualifying tournament for the 2015 World Cup,” said Cox, a former director of cricket of the Warwickshire Cricket Board.
“The decision raises more questions than answers, both cricket and financial, about the future value of associate cricket. We are still awaiting for some detailed information about the financial and cricketing implications.
“But we are also craving some vision as to what the future holds for associate membership cricket. Apart from the ICC World Twenty20 what will be the opportunities for countries such as Holland to play full member countries in the short form of the game?
“It was right to make the decision after the World Cup but having seen the progress that the associate countries have made, such as Ireland, this news is a setback for us.
“I do feel particularly sorry for Ireland because of the strides that they have made. They have a lot of full-time cricketers who must now be wondering what the future holds.”
The ICC decision comes at a time when Holland’s participation in the Clydesdale Bank 40 county competition also appears to be in doubt.
They were re-admitted to the competition last year, their first involvement in a county competition since 2005, but suggestions that the competition should be reduced by one side to 20 in 2012 have raised concerns that Holland’s only regular representative cricket might be against fellow ICC associates.
“From Holland’s perspective this decision comes at a time when our future participation in the CB40 county competition also seems to be the subject of much debate,” Cox said.
“If we were to lose regular participation with county sides in a tournament that does attract interest in Holland, it would be a cruel blow for representative cricket in this country and for the youngsters here who have watched the World Cup and thought: ‘I wonder whether that might be me in a few years time?’”