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ICC dash hopes of associate nations

April 6, 2011
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Well what to say except that the ICC have now crushed the nation of Ireland. By confirming that the next two world cups will have 10 teams, without qualification, they have effectively given associate teams nothing to aim for.

The ten full members of the ICC will now automatically qualify for the 2015 & the 2019 world cups. Under this rule Zimbabwe automatically qualify. Despite being placed 11th in the world, just behind Ireland. Are the ICC really saying that Zimbabwe are a better punt than Ireland? Okay yes, Zimbabwe have a lot of things going for them and they are a good cricketing nation, but they are ranked below Ireland. That is the simple fact of it all. As Cricket Ireland CEO Warren Deutrom said, ‘there is no reason why we cannot move up another place, or two, before the next world cup.’ Personally I feel he is right. Who is to say that we cannot overtake Bangladesh in the world rankings within the next four years? I think we can.

In the world cup just past Ireland had a brilliant tournament. We beat England and The Netherlands, we scored the fastest ever century in cwc history, and we chased down the largest ever run chase in cwc history. All the records broken by Ireland. Not India, not South Africa, not Sri Lanka. Ireland. This is basically the ICC saying to us “thanks for entertaining us and enriching our tournament, now goodbye”. It’s a disgrace really. Where’s our encouragement? Where is the plan to help Irish cricket grow? Had we been given the money that has been thrown at Bangladesh or Zimbabwe who knows where Irish cricket would be now. We have now been given nothing to plan for, or work towards. The ICC have taken away our biggest tournament.

My biggest fear now is that our young players are now going to leave for England, in the search of not only test cricket, but also the 50 over world cup. George Dockrell, my favourite player, has been a target for England since his debut against the West Indies in April ’10. This revelation could be what spurs him into talks with Eoin Morgan and the ECB. I can only pray that this doesn’t happen. But it’s not only Dockrell that could leave, Craig Young already plays for Sussex and so has been noticed by the English system. Paul Stirling had a hit and miss world cup, but overall is a very good cricketer and currently has a contract with Middlesex.

Cricket Ireland and the rest of the associate nations are currently meeting to decide what action they can take to fight this decision. However it seems that not a lot can be done. The 95 associate nations, even all grouped together, do not hold a lot of power. This certainly leaves them at a major disadvantage. But one thing for sure is that Cricket Ireland are not going to go down without a fight for our right to play in the world cup. Because effectively this decision takes the ‘world’ out of world cup.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Ian Callender permalink
    April 7, 2011 12:45 am

    Great post, Sinead. Ireland will have a chance to qualify for the 2019 tournament but, as you say, how many Ireland players will still be around by then? We almost accepted that our best players have to join England if they wanted to play Test cricket but now if they want to play in the next 50-over “World Cup” – it is not worthy of the name – they are also going to have to sign up to England. Unbelieavable! Well it would be in any other sport but with an ICC board solely interested in money and not the development of cricket, maybe it’s not so unbelievable. As you rightly say, at least Ireland will not give up without a fight and in Warren Deutrom as our chief executive they have one of the best and will know all the right buttons to press. I would really love Ireland and the rest of the Associates to refuse to play in the next World Twenty20, if only to prove that we are not going to be fobbed off with this mickey mouse consolation. But even that probabably wouldn’t make a difference!

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