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Ireland handed World Cup boost as ICC reverse decision

The governing body has revised its decision to exclude non-Test playing nations from the next World Cup

Kieran Beckles
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Ireland are now in a strong position to qualify for the 2015 tournamentPhoto: alister667, via Flickr

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Ireland have been thrown a lifeline after the International Cricket Council backtracked on their decision to omit non-Test playing nations from the next World Cup.

The ICC had initially said the 2015 tournament, to be co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand, would be contested by 10 full members.

But following criticism from associate teams including Ireland, the governing body announced that the 14-team format would be retained for the tournament in four years’ time.

“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,” read an ICC statement.

The u-turn was welcomed by Cricket Ireland chief executive Warren Deutrom. “The initial reaction is probably just one of relief to be honest with you, relief that we now have the opportunity to qualify for the World Cup and relief that we can now devote our energy to actually trying to qualify for it,” Deutrom told Reuters.

“From the moment the decision was announced, a significant portion of the game’s stakeholders said they felt the decision was completely wrong. There was such a massive weight of opinion, it would have been frankly a surprise if it hadn’t been changed.”

The ICC also revealed that the following World Cup in 2019 would be a 10-team tournament, with the governing body’s rankings system used to determined the first eight teams to participate. A qualification tournament will then take place to decide the final two teams.

The statement added: “In addition, the board confirmed that the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2019 would be a 10-team event with the top eight in the Reliance ICC rankings earning their qualification automatically with the remaining two places being decided by a qualification competition.”

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