The ICC has reversed the decision to restrict the 2015 World cup to the 10 full member’s nations, a move that means Ireland will now be given the chance to qualify for the next edition of the tournament.
The ICC has originally drawn worldwide criticism when they announced plans to reduce the number of team from 14 teams to 10 as well as excluding all associate nations, of which Ireland is one.
However following discussions at their annual conference the ICC has abandoned these plans and instead will stick with the format that served the 2011 world cup so well.
‘The ICC Executive Board opted to retain the 14-team format that was used at the highly successful and universally acclaimed ICC Cricket World Cup 2011,’ the governing body said in a statement.
The decision is a welcome boost for Ireland who could now qualify for their third successive tournament.
Cricket Ireland Chief Executive Warren Deutrom, who led the campaign to have Ireland included in the 2015 World cup, was both happy and relieved with the decision.
“Obviously we are relieved with the decision today. The Board should be greatly commended in the first instance for agreeing to look again at the matter, and then for being courageous enough to review their original decision – that isn’t easy.
“We can now get on and focus our energies on more proactive pursuits such as trying to qualify!”
While Phil Simmons, who has both played and coached in the Cricket World Cup was keen to move forward and begin preparations now that the matter had been resolved
“All 96 of us should be happy, but the real work starts now. We’ve got to show the ICC and the Full Members that we can perform in the final stages. That means reaching semi-finals and finals, not just the occasional shock”.
“We’ve got to take our cricket to the next level and show we belong as a right at these global events. We’ve certainly progressed in recent years, but we have got the potential to grow much further. That’s what I’ll be looking for from this Ireland team in the next four years up to 2015.”
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