World Cup qualification boost for Ireland
Ger Siggins (Irish Daily Star)
IRELAND’S bid to make their mark on the ICC Cricket World Cup next month has been given a boost – by getting the chance to qualify for the next one.
As Phil Simmons’s men fly out to Australia today to begin preparations, news has come through that ICC has decided to allow Ireland and Afghanistan to qualify for the 2019 event – to be held in England – via the world rankings.
The two associate teams will join the top table of 10 full members in the table which is revised after every ODI.
On 30 September 2017 the top eight will qualify for the World Cup. The bottom four in the table will get another chance to play in a ten-team contest with the final two places at stake.
Cricket Ireland CEO Warren Deutrom said: “We are absolutely delighted with the opportunity to qualify directly to the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.
“Ireland has worked very hard over recent years to prove itself as the leading Associate side and has beaten a number of Full Members over the years.
“We are confident that we can now accelerate our progress as part of this qualification structure with the Full Members, while this is also an excellent boost as we put our finishing touches on our preparations for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015.”
As a result, Afghanistan and Ireland will no longer play in the ICC World Cricket League Championship, but will continue to play in the four-day, first-class ICC Intercontinental Cup 2015-17, along with Hong Kong, Namibia, Netherlands, Papua New Guinea, Scotland and UAE.
ICC Chief Executive David Richardson said: “Both Afghanistan and Ireland have excelled on and off the field in recent years, and this decision is a critical step forward to the ICC’s aim of having more competitive teams in international cricket.”