The World Cup 2011 which is the centre of attraction for cricket lovers all over the globe is in progress with 14 top teams of the world participating in it. Ten of the teams i:e England, Australia, South Africa, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, West Indies, New Zealand, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe are permanent members of the International Cricket Council (ICC) while the remaining four Ireland, Holland, Kenya and Canada called the 'Minnows belong to the associate member class. Since the minnows are not performing as good as the senior teams, there is a move to oust them from the future world cup competitions. With such a mindset the ICC has already issued a statement while the introverts not understanding the implications have launched a media campaign to this effect. Let us recall that till the mid-70s the international cricket was restricted to 5-day Test matches only. It was the Australian tycoon Kerry Packer who brought 'one day cricket into the arena to expand and popularize the game in those countries of the world where cricket was not played. The plan had a magical effect with the ICC accepting the new version and introducing the world cup competition in 1975. The game expanded in such a manner that the ICCs membership jumped from the rock bottom to over 75 associate and affiliate members including the countries as remote as China and Afghanistan. The so-called 'minnows belong to such a group of countries and the four teams participating in the present world cup were picked up after having topped in their respective tournaments. If the object is to improve the standard of game in all cricket playing countries, the minnows must be exposed to competitions of international level. Although the minnows are still miles away from winning a competition like the world cup their potential cannot be challenged. The whole world has seen a minnow Ireland defeating England and Canada giving a tough time to Pakistan in the present competition. To recount their miraculous deeds of the past, let us not forget that Ireland also defeated Pakistan in the 2007 World Cup causing our ouster from the championship. Similarly Kenya defeated the two top teams West Indies in 1996 and Sri Lanka in 2003. Canada defeated Bangladesh also in the year 2003. Let it be known that the players only improve their game by playing against stronger and superior players from whom they learn the technique and other aspects of the game. If the ICC axes the minnows the growth of cricket will be restricted and the world cup will remain the smallest tournament of the world for all times to come. RAFI NASIM, Lahore, March 8.