The International Cricket Council have confirmed the next two World Cups will be contested by 10 teams, dealing a major blow to associate nations such as Ireland.
The recently completed competition featured 14 sides but the ICC executive board had made their intentions clear last October to cut that by four for the 2015 and 2019 events.
There was opposition from associate nations, who felt their likely exclusion from the World Cup would hinder development, and the cause took on new momentum when Ireland defeated England in the group stages.
The executive board discussed the issue again at a scheduled meeting in Mumbai today, with the possibility of a 12-team tournament under consideration.
But instead the board members decided to affirm their previous decision, with only the full member nations invited to the next World Cup before a qualification process is opened ahead of 2019.
A statement following the meeting read: “The executive board confirmed their decision, made in October 2010, that the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 in Australia and New Zealand and the ICC Cricket World Cup in England in 2019 will be a 10-team event.
“The board agreed that the 2015 World Cup will comprise the existing 10 full members, however, they gave notice to all full members that participation in the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup will be determined on the basis of qualification. It was also agreed that post the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 there will be promotion and relegation introduced in the ODI League.”