If Associate countries like Ireland and Scotland are not good enough to make it to the World Cup through the qualifying tournament, then they don't deserve to take part in it, according to former India captain and commentator Sunil Gavaskar.
There has been considerable protest from the Associates about the ICC reducing the 2019 World Cup to a 10-team affair. And the fuse was lit once again when Scotland beat England - ranked No. 1 in the world - in dramatic fashion in Edinburgh. Writing in his column for Mid-Day, Gavaskar felt that one result should not amount to too much.
"Meanwhile Scotland's surprise win over England has again raised the cry about the number of teams for next year's World Cup," he wrote. "These people have forgotten that there was a tournament among Associate members and the two of the bottom ranked Test playing countries to qualify for next year's World Cup. Afghanistan and West Indies qualified by getting to the finals.
"The point here is simple that if Ireland and Scotland, from where most of the noise comes about the number of teams for next year's World Cup, were not good enough to qualify in an associate members event then how can they even think in terms of playing with the big boys in the World Cup? It's like subcontinent teams asking to be included in the football World Cup.
"Get real guys, one win does not make you good enough to play in the cricket World Cup. If these teams are included then like we have seen in previous editions the quality of the game comes down and dilutes an event as big as the World Cup."
Scotland captain Kyle Coetzer responded to Gavaskar's comments on Tuesday.
Nobody is complaining about the qualifying process(this was a good tournament minus DRS). Should have been more qualifying places up for grabs at the #CWC19. 1 win ...games against @ECB_cricket @ACBofficials @ZimCricketv @OfficialSLC must not count then(all in 14months) https://t.co/Xwp8pSelYS— Kyle Coetzer (@MeerGoose11) June 19, 2018
The ICC's World Cup Qualifier, held in March 2018, had Zimbabwe, Scotland, Ireland, United Arab Emirates, Netherlands, Nepal, Papua New Guinea and Hong Kong competing, apart from Afghanistan and West Indies. The tournament was played without DRS and that hit Scotland particularly hard, with two key moments going against them in the Super Sixes. Scotland finished the Super Sixes on five points, just one behind Afghanistan, who finished second with six points and thus qualified for the World Cup along with West Indies.