Since joining the elite Test-playing nations more than 12 years ago, they have done little to merit this privilege. In the five-day format they have just three wins from 73 matches – one against Zimbabwe and two against the West Indies. The defeats are 63.
In one-day internationals, they have 72 wins in 262 matches, but 52 of those have come against Zimbabwe (30), Kenya (8), Ireland (5), Scotland (3), Bermuda (2), Hong Kong, Canada, the Netherlands and the UAE.
In Twenty20, they have eight wins from 26 games, five of them against non-Test playing nations.
Bangladesh have played in 12 ICC events and have progressed to the second round just twice, at the 2007 World Cup and the World T20 in the same year. Do these statistics merit an automatic place in major championships?
Ireland have reached the second round twice – at the 2007 World Cup and the 2009 World Twenty20. Kenya reached the semi-finals of the 2003 World Cup. Why should these Associate countries have to qualify, while Bangladesh get an automatic berth?
If the presence of more Associate countries at the World Cups dilutes the competition, then the same argument could be made against Bangladesh and Zimbabwe. Perhaps, it is time to make them earn their spot through the qualifiers. Being challenged might spur them out of this state of complacency.
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