Should the big nations play the associate teams?

At the 2019 Cricket World Cup, ICC reduced the number of teams competing in a World Cup from 14 teams to just 10 teams. The cricket community was unhappy with this decision as there is always an excitement of associate nations competing against the top teams.

Over the years, fans have witnessed many upsets like Ireland beating England in the 2011 World Cup, Afghanistan beating a full strength West Indies team in the 2016 T20 World Cup and in the recently concluded T20 World Cup, where a total of 6 major upsets happened which made the event even more special. So that asks the question -

Should the big nations play the minnow teams?

Should the big nations play the associate teams?
Cricket Associate Nations (Credit - ICC Cricket)

In recent times, associate teams haven't been pushovers like previous years. Fans have witnessed Scotland beat England, Zimbabwe beat Pakistan, Netherlands beat South Africa and many other upsets.

In the 2022 T20 World Cup, the upsets made the tournament more interesting and at the half-way stage, every team had an equal chance of qualifying.

Fans have labeled Bangladesh and Afghanistan as "minnows" at one point in time. As years passed, Afghanistan and Bangladesh are being taken as a serious threat and they have proven that they can beat the top nations at any given day.

In the coming years, the Netherlands, Ireland, Scotland and Namibia will go through a transition similar to Afghanistan and will be a serious threat to the top nations.

As we have seen the associate nations performance in the 2022 T20 World Cup, it is safe to say that the big nations should play the minnow teams as it would make cricket a more competitive sport and make cricket more popular in other nations.

Cover Credit - ICC Cricket

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