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Holding slams minnows
20 Feb 2007
By: James Nixon

Former West Indian fast bowler and now commentator Michael Holding has slammed the inclusion of the five minnow nations in the World Cup.

Holding told the Royal Gazette Bermuda newspaper that "I do not believe the World Cup should go on for as long as it does (almost two months) and that is partly because there are far too many teams in the competition who are not good enough to be there."

"I've argued about this with the ICC for some time. I simply do not believe that if you come fourth in the ICC Trophy that you should be entitled to play in the World Cup."

"It does not make sense to me. What is gained by a team playing in the World Cup and getting absolutely hammered? In my opinion it is counter-productive."

"What I believe should happen is that all the non-Test playing nations should continue to play amongst themselves, to have their own competition where only the top-ranked country goes through to the World Cup."

Scotland currently top the Associate Rankings followed by Netherlands, Ireland, Canada and Bermuda.

Holding went onto say that "I see nothing wrong with giving the smaller teams the odd tour and a few games against the bigger teams from time to time."

"And I think the ICC should continue to invest in non-Test playing nations to improve their cricket and their infrastructure and things like that."

"But it's a big jump from that to having six non-Test nations all playing against the cream of the crop. It's not good for cricket."

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