Preston Mommsen © Getty Images
Preston Mommsen © Getty Images

Dunedin: Scotland captain Preston Mommsen has criticised plans to reduce the number of teams at future World Cups, saying it would be a backward move for the global game. The Scots are one of 14 teams taking part in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 being co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand. ICC Cricket World Cup 2015: POINTS TABLE

But with the sides split into two groups of seven and four qualifying from each pool for the quarter-finals, critics argue that it takes too long to reach what is often a predictable list of teams for the last eight.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) have indicated that only 10 nations will contest the 2019 World Cup in England, with the top eight teams in the global rankings joined by the two best sides from a qualifying event a year earlier. ICC Cricket World Cup 2015: SCHEDULE & MATCH DETAILS

That would still give second-tier associate, non-Test, sides such as Scotland the chance to compete on the World Cup stage but Mommsen argued reducing the number of teams would hinder efforts to “grow the game”.

“Hopefully people will realise that’s not the best decision for world cricket,” he said.

“A World Cup is called a World Cup for a reason, because it’s a global event,” the skipper added. “By excluding nations that are trying to compete and trying to grow the game, it’s not very effective.” ICC Cricket World Cup 2015: Complete Coverage

However, Mommsen said he did not want the issue of qualification for future events to disrupt Scotland’s campaign at the 2015 World Cup, arguing that impressing on the field — starting with Tuesday’s match against co-hosts New Zealand — was the best way to win over their critics.

But he did observe that cricket appeared to be one of the few sports where the showpiece event was being reduced in size rather than witnessing an expansion in the number of teams taking part.

And with cricket already possessing an elite eight-team 50-over tournament in the ICC Champions Trophy, held in alternate two years to the World Cup, Mommsen said a lack of differentiation between the two tournaments would not be in the best interests of cricket.