To avoid a precedent
Following the match forfeited by Canada, there has been much discussion on this and other sites as to the allocation of points. With this in mind, it is perhaps worthwhile to take a look at the ICC's decision and the reasons it was made.
Essentially, the decision revolves around the policy that however unfortunate the circumstances of a team being unable to field the required number of players (or not turning up), they lose the game and the opposition are awarded a walkover with whatever points in a tournament that come with it.
The ICC's reason behind this is to avoid the precedent whereby a team could arrange to share the points from a cancelled game by providing a ‘good reason not to turn up'. They were quick to point out that nothing of the sort was even hinted at in Mombasa, but that the precedent was to be avoided at all costs none the less.
The ICC's explanation of the decision and the reasons for reaching it makes sense and seems to have a sensible, if harsh, logic. Ultimately decisions of this nature do set precedents, and the ICC has been careful here to avoid leaving a loophole that an unscrupulous team could exploit.
The ICC also ruled that for the purpose of awarding caps and for ODI records and rankings, the match would not count. Precedents regarding the rankings had already been set in the last World Cup and as no toss took place, no match was played as far as records etc go.
This has been a well handled incident by the ICC, and should be note worthy for that fact alone. It should also be noted that all parties would have preferred to have played the match, but due to the time constraints, that was just not possible. With no play being possible, the next best cause of action was to ensure as little damage was done to the game as could be helped, and on the whole, this seems to have succeeded. Perhaps the only thing the ICC could have handled better was releasing their decision to the public. It would have saved a lot of conjecture and hearsay had they done so immediately the decision was reached.