The ICC Cricket Committee's recommendation to have qualifiers for the 2015 cricket World Cup has given fresh hope to the associate nations, who were fuming over the governing body's earlier decision to scale the event down to just 10 teams.
"It's excellent news that another group of people have put their support behind the need for a qualifying process," Cricket Ireland CEO Warren Deutrom said.
Former Ireland captain Trent Johnston, who was the Associate representative on the cricket committee, said the committee did the right thing in recommending qualifiers.
"Unanimous decision by ICC Cricket Committee to recommend to the Chief Exec Committee there be a qualifier for CWC 2015. A great result!" he tweeted after the two-day meeting in London.
The associates were earlier furious when the ICC Executive Board decided to make the World Cup a 10-team affair. The decision went back to drawing board only after ICC President Sharad Pawar asked for a reconsideration.
"It is obviously good for cricket and hopefully the ICC Executive Committee would accept the recommendation," an official from the Netherlands' cricket board said.
In other decisions taken at the cricket committee meeting, Cricket Committee recommended that the use of Decision Review System should be extended to ODIs and Twenty20.
"While recognising the need to take account of existing contractual arrangements between Member Boards and their broadcasters, the committee, after a two day meeting, has unanimously recommended that DRS should be used in ODI and T20 internationals, besides all Test matches," Clive Lloyd, Chairman of the committee, told reporters at the Lord's.
"The committee has recommended that the pink ball should be used in the four-day first-class ICC Intercontinental Cup 2011-12 and also that ICC member Boards he asked not only to use the ball in at least one round of first-class matches but also be encouraged to trial the ball in day-night matches at venues which have adequate artificial lights."
It also recommended that the DRS should be used in ODI and Twenty20 series with each side allowed one unsuccessful review per innings.
"This recommendation was made following what the committee agreed was a successful application during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011.
Former India captain Ravi Shastri attended the meeting as media representative and former India coach Gary Kirsten was also there as Full Member team coach representative. The committee recommended that the captain of an international side be suspended for a match if his side is guilty of two minor over-rate offences in the same format over a 12-month period. At present such a punishment is applicable only after three such offences.
Other recommendations of the committee included that runners not be allowed, the practice of a batsman intentionally changing his direction while running between the wickets with a view to blocking a run-out chance was contrary to the Laws (37.1) and that the batsman be given out on appeal from the fielding side.
It also recommended that the MCC amend law 42.15 to allow the bowler to run out the non-striker before releasing the ball provided he has not completed his usual delivery swing.
Acknowledging the successful staging of the recent ICC Cricket world cup, the committee recommended that two balls should be used in each innings, one from each end instead of currently one replacement after 34 overs.
It said teams should only be allowed to take the batting and bowling powerplay between overs 16 to 40. The committee's recommendations will go before the Chief Executives' Committee (CEC) for approval before finally being presented to the ICC Executive Board for approval.
"The committee's recommendation that the DRS should be used in all formats of the game confirms two key conclusions that came from our discussions: it shows the group's confidence in the system and it also highlights the committee's view that it does aid the umpires in making correct decisions," Lloyd said.