Expand the U19 World Cup….
The U19 World Cup is well structured, with 16 teams participating in it. These include the 10 full members, 2 qualifiers from Europe, 1 each from Americas and Asia, and 2 from the combined regions of EAP and Africa.
One thing that came immediately to my mind was that some of the qualifiers who have ODI status are missing in the tournament. Bermuda, Kenya, Canada and Holland are missing from the ranks. Instead of Bermuda or Canada, the US made it through, and Uganda and Namibia made it through instead of Kenya. Holland maintained its ranking at the U19 level in Europe at 3 just like the senior team, behind Ireland and Scotland, but that meant that they did not make it.
I think that just like the full members get automatic qualification for the tournament, the 6 members with ODI status should get automatic qualification in the tournament as well. It doesnt make sense that they have ODI status, but their junior team, which is essentially a development squad, does not get the chance to represent their country in the World Cup. After all, the ICC doesnt want these countries to stay as temporary ODI members forever, they want them to graduate at least to full ODI nations. The U19 world cup gives tremendous experience to the non test nations, and depriving the junior squads of the ODI nations is a backward move in making them permanent ODI nation.
In my opinion, the U19 World Cup should comprise of 20 nations. This would include the 10 test nations, 6 ODI nations and 4 regional qualifiers. There would be 1 regional qualifer each from Europe, Asia and Africa. The 4th regional qualifier would come from a playoff between the champions in the EAP and Americas region.
The 20 nations would be divided into 4 pools, just like now. Instead of 4 there would be 5 teams in each pool. The top 2 in every pool would qualify for Super League, the 3rd and 4th would qualify for the Plate, while the last team in every pool would play ranking matches against the other last teams from other pools to decide the 17-20th standings.