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Sachin Tendulkar calls for 25-team World Cup

Indian cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar has called for the Cricket World Cup to involve 25 teams. 14 teams are currently involved in the 2015 ongoing World Cup, which is planned to be reduced to 10, for 2019.

Indian cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar has criticized proposals to cut the 2019 World Cup to just 10 nations, calling it "a backward step" and suggesting the tournament should host as many as 25 teams.

"I found out the next World Cup would only be ten teams which is slightly disappointing because, as a cricketer, I want the game to be globalized as much as possible," Tendulkar said.

"According to me, this is a backwards step," he added.

According to cricket website ESPNCricinfo, Tendulkar apparently made the statements at a private dinner in Sydney, on the sidelines of the current 2015 Cricket World Cup tournament.

'Need to encourage the lesser teams'

Cricket World Cup 2015

Aghanistan have put on some brave displays so far in the World Cup, but were thrashed by hosts Australia

Tendulkar's argument is that it is impossible for second-tier, so-called "Associate members" of the International Cricket Council (ICC), to be consistently competitive throughout a World Cup under the current system. This is because they are not exposed to top-level experience in the four years between tournaments.

"Right now, they get up after four years on the cricket world's biggest platform and they're expected to play and compete with the likes of Australia, South Africa, India, New Zealand, West Indies, Sri Lanka, so many top sides. It's unfair to them," said Tendulkar.

"Why not get Australia A, England A, New Zealand A, South Africa A, New Zealand A, India A, everyone, to go and visit these countries and play them on a regular basis?"

The current Cricket World Cup format involving 14 teams, is expected to be reduced to include just 10 teams in the next tournament in 2019.

Since the 2011 World Cup, Ireland - an Associate ICC member - has played only 11 One Day Internationals against full member nations and their captain William Porterfield has called for a "level playing field."

apc/rd, al (AFP, Reuters)