So the next World Cup will be played only by the ten full members with no chance for any Associate to take part. Furthermore the group stage will be replaced by a round-robin system, with the four top ranked teams entering the semifinals.
Well done. What a cunning plan. The round robin format makes sure that all Test nations play each other *ka-ching*, and we won't get robbed of matches like Australia v England, of which we had not seen enough before the WC. On the other hand the elimination of the Associates spares us torment like the Ireland rubbish or the embarrassing displays by the Messrs Seelaar, Ten Inches, Borronator & Co.
Of course Ireland will benefit from an extended T20 World Cup, a tournament for which they had not managed to qualify before. Reducing their appearances to the T20 will also indirectly help them to get closer to a full membership, which they are undoubtedly fighting for with nail and tooth.
The ICC's decision is not like breaking the legs of a child that has just started to walk properly, no.
I cannot eat as much as I want to vomit.
EDIT: Trent Johnston tweetet:
"So that means our plans to become a full member have been a source of humour around that elitist table....."
That basically sums it up, there's nothing more to add to that.
Warren Deutrom, who I had featured earlier because he presented a brilliant case for Irish cricket on the Switch Hit podcast, has declared the 4th of April 2011 'an absolute black day for the sport'.
Here's the link to the Cricket With Balls post, in which Jrod names a few things you can do to protest against the decision. Also check out the respective comments, some useful suggestions for emails to the ICC have been posted there.