Bagai disappointed at ICC decision
Canada's world cup captain Ashish Bagai is among many key figures in associate cricket that have condemned the ICC decision to remove associate nations such as Canada from competing in the 2015 Cricket World Cup.
Bagai was disappointed to know that his team would not get a chance to qualify for the 2015 event after a strong showing in India in 2011.
"This is a dark day in the world of not just cricket, but sport in general. Closing the door on 100 countries to try and achieve their dream and play in the World Cup is a decision that is contradictory to the principles of sport. The World Cup is about athletes pushing their limits, achieving their potential and living a dream. It is about heroes being born and about celebrating the sport of cricket throughout the World. It is NOT about maximizing every penny. This decision lacks vision, is focused on short term financial gain and contradicts what sport stands for. It is disgusting."
Bagai comments follow on strongly from his counterpart William Porterfield of Ireland who on Monday blasted the ICC decision on the 2015 World Cup.
Bagai continued. "Agreed we did not reach the quarters, but we came within 16 runs of beating England in the Warm-up game and bowled out Pakistan for 180, their lowest total of the competition. We witnessed a 19 year old Canadian demolish the Australian opening bowling attack in Bangalore. We had a 22 year old Canadian in the top 4 leading wicket takers in the tournament after the first round. Amongst the three fastest All-time World Cup hundreds, two of them are from the associate countries. These are all signs that we need more exposure not less. These are all indicators that there is something there for us to build on. Sure when you throw a pup into a dogfight, it will struggle. But throw him over and over again and it will grow and learn to fight."
Bagai pointed out that the lesser nations, can succeed given the time and opportunity to grow.
"All these teams started somewhere. Sri Lanka in the 70's was a minnow and played its first World Cup match in 1975. Imagine if the ICC was driven by financial incentives then and shunned Sri Lanka. The World would have missed out on legends like Aravinda, Murali, Mahela, Kumar etc. They would have missed out on the 96 World Champions. "
"This decision alone will significantly hurt the growth and development of the game around the World. ICC has a responsibility to govern cricket around the World, not in 10 countries. I hope ICC realizes the damage this will cause in the long run."